Tonya Harding’s life has changed drastically in the last year. From the moment that I, Tonya came out, the Oscar-nominated film loosely chronicling the Olympic skater’s journey, Harding stepped back into the spotlight. She attended movie premieres, did interviews and eventually, landed a spot on Dancing With the Stars’ first-ever all-athletes season.
Us Weekly caught up with the former pro ice skater following the cast announcement on Good Morning America on Friday, April 13, and she was beaming with excitement.
“I get a lot more respect, which is really nice, ’cause it’s been a long time,” she said about how her life has changed recently. “I’m just very glad to be part of something that is just so wonderful, and meet so many new people. I mean … I’m totally overwhelmed!”
Harding, 47, also told Us that she considers herself her biggest competition. “[I want to prove] that I can do it, to myself. But I want to do it for my family and my friends, too,” she said. “It is truly an honor to be part of this, it’s very heartfelt, and I’m just so excited!”
While it’s only been one day of rehearsing, her partner, Sasha Farber, says she’s doing “amazing” already!
“There’s so many things that America hasn’t seen about her, and she’s just had an amazing movie that’s come out about her, and the ball’s rolling,” he told Us. “I feel like it’s in her court at the moment, and I’m happy that the truth is out there, and this is the next step for her. This is like, redemption in a way, and I want her to just enjoy this, be herself and have good time.”
As for their go-to dance song, they’re in very different places. Farber’s is Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl.” Harding’s is Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.”
Season 26 of Dancing With the Stars premieres on ABC Monday, April 30, at 8 p.m. E T.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi
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