Chris Mazdzer made history at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, by winning the silver medal in men’s luge. He was the first American ever to medal in that event. Now he’s making history again as the first luger to compete on “Dancing with the Stars.” He’s one of the 10 sports stars who were announced for the upcoming four-week “Athletes” edition of “DWTS” starting on April 30. But will his skills on the luge track translate well to the ballroom? Let’s consider the pros and cons.
Though luge athletes keep their bodies rigid as they hurtle down the track, the sport requires significant coordination and balance in order to maintain control at speeds exceeding 80 miles per hour on a narrow sled. That kind of bodily control could translate well to learning and executing intricate dance steps every week.
His outgoing personality will likely win him plenty of fans who may vote for him even if he doesn’t display the fanciest footwork. He has already proven his appeal to 77,000 Instagram followers, 18,000 Twitter followers and 13,000 Facebook fans.
Mazdzer’s professional dance partner is Witney Carson, who has only been on “DWTS” for eight previous seasons, but she already has a strong track record. She won the Mirror Ball Trophy with Alfonso Ribeiro in season 19, which was only Carson’s second time competing on the show. That makes her one of only three pros this season who has won the Mirror Ball before. And she also finished third with Frankie Muniz in season 25, and fourth with Carlos PenaVega in season 21. On top of that she earned a 2015 Emmy nomination for Best Choreography for her work on the show.
It’s true that luge requires a great deal of strength, coordination and control, but it’s nevertheless a sport that requires an athlete to remain mostly still, which is the opposite of what is required for a “DWTS” competitor. Will he be expressive enough in his movements?
An outgoing personality is a big advantage on “DWTS,” but with only four weeks in the competition he doesn’t have as much time to develop that kind of infectious rapport with his partner and charm the audience as he would in a regular-length season.
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