The 2018 Winter Olympics come to a close on Sunday, February 26 after more than two weeks of competition. Some athletes already had high expectations going into the Games, but sometimes Olympic stars come from unexpected places. With “Dancing with the Stars” set to air a shortened all-athletes season starting on April 30, figure skater Mirai Nagasu has already lobbied for a spot in the ballroom. here are seven other top names I’d love to see hit the dance floor after getting off the ice and snow.
1. Adam Rippon (Figure Skating) — He won a bronze medal during the figure skating team event. Because of the lower difficulty level of his routines he wasn’t considered a top medal contender in the individual men’s event — indeed, he finished 10th — but he delivered technically consistent and artistically graceful performances throughout. And off the ice he was so charismatic that Sally Field even tried to set him up with her son. When asked how he performs so well at age 28 — figure skaters typically peak in their late teens early 20s — he answered, “I can’t explain witchcraft.” “DWTS” could use some of that old black magic.
2. John Shuster (Curling) — The sport of curling was added to the Olympics in 1998 with its heavy stones, aggressive sweeping and yelling — lots of yelling. In that time it seems to have evolved in the eyes of American viewers from a novelty to a curiosity to a sensation. This year John Shuster helped win the American men’s team the gold medal for the first time in Olympic history, and his underdog success actually brought him to tears. He’s not the typical athlete who appears on “DWTS,” but that’s what makes him so appealing. He might bring the show its strongest rooting factor.
3. Lindsey Vonn (Skiing) — Speaking of tears, Vonn was deeply emotional after her bronze-medal performance in the women’s downhill. She was hope for gold, but the tears weren’t because of that. It was because she knew it would likely be her last Olympic downhill race. At age 33, she’s not sure she has another 4 years in her, but after a highly decorated career she could take a victory lap on the dance floor.
4. Chloe Kim (Snowboarding) — At age 17, the snowboarding sensation could become the third teenage Olympic phenom to follow a gold medal with a Mirror Ball Trophy, following gymnasts Shawn Johnson (season 8) and Laurie Hernandez (season 23). She handled aerial tricks with ease in the half-pipe, so she might also have a gymnast’s aptitude in the ballroom.
5. Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (Hockey) — Some of the fanciest footwork at the Olympics wasn’t in the figure skating event. It was in the gold medal game for women’s ice hockey where American Lamoureux-Davidson pulled off a double-fake-out to score the game-winning goal against Canada during the tie-breaking shootout. She calls that move the “Oops I Did it Again,” so if she were recruited by “DWTS” it would be an absolute must for her to perform to this song — a tango, maybe?
6-7. Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir (Figure Skating) — They didn’t compete in these Olympics, but they’re both past Olympians (Lipinski won gold in 1998, and Weir made the US team in 2006 and 2010), and they provided colorful color commentary during this year’s Games. They have such great chemistry and larger-than-life personalities that I would almost rather see them dance with each other than be paired with pro dancers. Either way, it would be worth it just for the possibility of seeing Weir sass the judges.
Do you agree with these suggestions? Who would you add to the “DWTS” lineup?