Nothing new! Since season 4 of Dancing With the Stars, Olympic athletes have been at the top of the list when it comes to celebrities to cast. Just like all celebs to join the show, some are wildly successful, while others fall short.
Apolo Ohno was the first Olympian to compete, taking home the mirrorball trophy alongside pro partner Julianne Hough in 2007. Ohno’s win got him invited back for the all-stars season in 2012, during which he was paired with Karina Smirnoff. However, he couldn’t snag the trophy during his second run.
In 2021, Suni Lee was one of the first stars announced for the epic season 30, fresh off her run at the Tokyo Olympics. Her former teammate, Laurie Hernandez, who won the mirrorball trophy for season 23, and Simone Biles, who came in fourth on season 24, contributed to her hopes to do the show.
“I’ve seen so many people go out there and do Dancing With the Stars, so it was one of my goals after the Olympics,” she said at the time, noting that her friends mocked her because she isn’t a good dancer. Plus, she knew she’d struggle with letting herself smile and have fun on the floor. “You’re expressing yourself even more when you’re dancing, because you’ve kind of been locked up a little bit in gymnastics. Dancing is just super fun.”
Biles, who danced with Sasha Farber on the competition series, also faced backlash for not smiling enough while dancing.
“Your skills are unquestionable,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba told her during a 2017 episode. “You hit every line with precision and perfection. But once again, I’m going to come back to performance and authenticity about who you are when you perform. … You have this beautiful smile and you are a megastar with your energy, but once in a while, there’s beauty without a smile. There’s beauty in pain and all of the other emotions, and I’d like to see more of that.”
The athlete simply responded, “Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.”
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Scroll through the gallery below to see every Olympian who has appeared on DWTS and how they did in the competition: