Olympic ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White were announced as part of the “Dancing with the Stars” Season 18 cast Tuesday morning.
Davis and White joined the show one day after announcing they would not defend their World Championship in Saitama, Japan, later this month. The season premieres March 17. Davis and White are scheduled to be part of the “Stars on Ice” figure skating tour that begins April 4.
Davis and White’s inclusion marks the 14th of 18 seasons that the show will include Olympians. Three Olympians have won “Dancing with the Stars” — Apolo Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson.
1976 Olympic champion Dorothy Hamill was the last figure skater on the show in Season 16.
Davis and White enter with an edge, not only because of their dancing skills on ice but also because they’ve worked with show professional dancer Derek Hough to choreograph their performances.
Hough, though, will not be teamed with Davis or White. He’ll be with 2014 U.S. Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy. The Paralympic Closing Ceremony in Sochi, Russia, is March 16, one day before the “Dancing with the Stars” season premiere. Purdy, a double amputee, is the first Paralympian to go on “Dancing with the Stars.”
The cast also includes 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 player Sean Avery.
Here’s the history of Olympians competing on “Dancing with the Stars:”
Season 1 — Evander Holyfield (1984, boxing)
Season 4 — Apolo Ohno (2002-2010, short track speed skating) — WINNER, Clyde Drexler (1992, basketball)
Season 5 — Floyd Mayweather Jr. (1996, boxing)
Season 6 — Kristi Yamaguchi (1992, figure skating) — WINNER, Monica Seles (1996-2000, tennis)
Season 7 — Maurice Greene (2000-2004, track and field), Misty May-Treanor (2000-2012, volleyball)
Season 8 — Shawn Johnson (2008, gymnastics) — WINNER
Season 9 — Louie Vito (2010, snowboarding), Natalie Coughlin (2004-2012, swimming)
Season 10 — Evan Lysacek (2006-2010, figure skating)
Season 12 — Sugar Ray Leonard (1976, boxing)
Season 13 — Hope Solo (2004-2012, soccer)
Season 14 — Martina Navratilova (2004, tennis)
Season 15 — Shawn Johnson, Apolo Ohno
Season 16 — Dorothy Hamill (1976, figure skating), Aly Raisman (2012, gymnastics)