Which Sports Have the Most and Fewest 'Dancing with the Stars' Contestants?
Which Sports Have the Most and Fewest 'Dancing with the Stars' Contestants?
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Dancing with the Stars is taking on the sports world with its special all-athlete four-week event, premiering Monday, April 30 at 8/7c on ABC. But for 25 seasons, athletes have already dominated the ballroom, with 10 of them already winning the Mirror Ball.

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It's no surprise that the NFL is by far the most popular source for athletic contestants on DWTS, but what other sports have been well-represented on the show? And which sports haven't had their time to shine?

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Here's a look at all of the important numbers from the first 25 seasons in terms of how many athletes have competed, which sports have given us the most dancers and which sports have yet to make an appearance on the show.

How Many Athletes Have Been on DWTS?

In total, 66 athletes have competed throughout the first 25 seasons of the show, with men having a 2-1 advantage (44 male athletes and 22 female athletes). This list only counts each athlete once, even if they competed more than once due to the All-Stars season.

The Domination of Football

Football has been the dominant sport for DWTS. A total of 19 football players have competed on the show over the years, including four winners and another five who made it into the Final 3. Football players represent nearly 30 percent of all athletes on the show and they are more than triple any other sport.

The Other Big Sports

Dividing the athletes into disciplines, here are the five most popular sports other than football.

Ice Skating (6): When it comes to the Winter Olympics, the world of figure skating has dominated the ballroom. I count a total of six ice skaters who have competed: four Olympic figure skaters (Kristi Yamaguchi, Dorothy Hamill, Nancy Kerrigan and Evan Lysacek) and two ice dancers (Meryl Davis and Charlie White). This does not include two other athletes who also compete on the ice: speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno and hockey player Sean Avery.

Gymnastics (5): DWTS has featured five Olympic gymnasts, all women. They've all done very well, with two winners (Shawn Johnson and Laurie Hernandez) while the other three (Alexandra Raisman, Nastia Liukin and Simone Biles) all finished in fourth place.

Boxing (5): Perhaps the most surprising fact is that boxing has been a popular sport on DWTS with five athletes. Four of them were men (Evander Holyfield, Floyd Mayweather, Sugar Ray Leonard and Victor Ortiz), none of whom did very well, and the fifth was Laila Ali, who finished in third place. If you combine these five with the three WWE wrestlers (Chris Jericho, Stacy Keibler and Nikki Bella) and the three UFC fighters (Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture and Paige VanZant) who have competed in the ballroom, combat sports actually represent the second biggest athletic discipline on the show after football.

Basketball (4): There have been four NBA stars on DWTS, but this is easily the worst sport when it comes to performance. Metta World Peace was the first one eliminated in his season, Derek Fisher was the third one out, Clyde Drexler was the fourth one out and Rick Fox's sixth place in season 11 is the best finish for any basketball player.

Swimming (4): This is an all-encompassing description for several different types of athletes. The show has featured Olympic medalists Ryan Lochte and Natalie Coughlin, plus Paralympic swimmer Victoria Arlen and long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad.

Which Sports Have Never Appeared on DWTS?

Most major sports have been represented in some way, even if it's only with a single competitor. For instance, David Ross is the only baseball player to appear on Dancing with the Stars, Sean Avery is the only hockey player and Hope Solo is the only soccer star. That seems low, especially since those three sports are arguably among the big five with football and basketball.

In terms of gender disparity, there have been four basketball players, but none of them were women (so maybe it's time for some WNBA representation). There have only been two tennis players, both female (Monica Seles and Martina Navratilova). And of the dozen Summer Olympians, only two have been men (swimmer Ryan Lochte and sprinter Maurice Greene).

But as far as popular sports go, the biggest blind spot for DWTS is golf. In 25 seasons the show has never featured a professional golfer, despite the fact that it is one of the most-watched sports in the country.

Which sports would you like to see get more representation on DWTS? The full cast for Dancing with the Stars: Athletes will be revealed Friday, April 13 on Good Morning America. For more updates, like BuddyTV's DWTS Facebook page.


(Image courtesy of ABC)