Ice dancing Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White will get the chance to twizzle their way into our hearts again—this time as part of the cast of ABC's hit show Dancing With the Stars, which will air its Season 18 premiere at 8 p.m. EST on March 17. [Tweet the news!]
The gold medalists will attempt to follow the famous and fancy footwork of speed-skater Apolo Ohno, figure-skater Kristi Yamaguchi, and gymnast Shawn Johnson, all of whom picked up a mirror ball trophy to match their Olympic bling.
The downside to watching the dynamic duo trade their ice skates for dancing shoes is that they're going to be split up. Davis has been paired with smoldering pro ballroom dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who's been known to have off-screen chemistry with partners in the past, while White will be cutting a rug, er, hardwood floor with Australian beauty Sharna Burgess. Don't worry: Neither pro partner will really break up this special couple, who actually aren't dating in real life. These two will remain king and queen of the ice rink—though they've already confirmed that they don't plan to defend their title in 2018 (boo!).
How come Davis didn't get matched up with five-time Dancing With the Stars champion Derek Hough, whom she and White had recruited to help choreograph their stunning Sochi performances? Hough had already been assigned to the world's No. 2-ranked para-snowboarder Amy Purdy, a double amputee who will be the first Paralympian to appear on the reality TV show. The 34-year-old lost her legs below the knee at age 19 after contracting a form of bacterial meningitis that affected her circulatory system, but the devastating loss didn't keep her from becoming a world-champion adaptive snowboarder, nor has it kept her from dancing.
“I go out with my friends and I love dancing...My dance training has been out at the club or clog dancing when I was young,” Purdy recently told TeamUSA.org. Although she knows she won't be able to point her toes like the other contestants, she's hoping to impress the judges in her high heels (yes, she'll be wearing them!) in other ways. We'll have to tune in to see how.
Other sport stars joining the cast this season include Diana Nyad, the 64-year-old woman who became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage last summer, and former NHL hottie Sean Avery. Sports journalist Erin Andrews (Maksim's partner and the third-place winner in season 10) will be taking over as host for Brooke Burke-Charvet. This might be the sportiest DWTS season yet—and we can't wait!
Tell us what you think of the new cast in the comments below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine!