Australian Olympic champion and world record holder Libby Trickett will be replacing her suit and goggles with dancing shoes for the upcoming 13th season of the Australian version of “Dancing With the Stars”.
Trickett will be the sixth swimming Olympic champion to dance on the show, and the first since Brooke Hanson back in Season 8. Shane Gould, Elka Graham, Dawn Fraser, and Michael Klim have also competed. Stateside, Natalie Coughlin is still the only swimmer to have competed on America’s “DWTS”, finishing 10th out of 16 dancers back in Season 9. In addition, British Olympian Mark Foster recently competed on the British version (called “Strictly Come Dancing” ).
Eleven others will join Trickett in the competition, including talk show host Sally Obermeder, Olympic gold medal pole vaulter Steve Hooker, 2010 Miss Universe Australia Jesinta Campbell, and top-selling pop singer Tina Arena.
Athletes traditionally have performed well on the American version of “Dancing with the Stars”, winning in seven of the show’s sixteen seasons. The list of athlete champions includes:
- Emmitt Smith, the NFL’s all time leading rusher (season three)
- Speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno (four)
- Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves (five)
- Olympic champion figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi (six)
- Olympic champion gymnast Shawn Johnson (eight)
- NFL wide receiver Hines Ward (twelve)
- NFL wide receiver Donald Driver (fourteen)
… of course, on a more light-hearted note, all of these sports require a good deal of land/hand-eye coordination. Adding to the stereotypes, the results from past swimmers have indicated high-profile dancing isn’t typically a swimmer’s strong suit; no swimmer in the U.S., U.K., or Aussie version has ever made it more than halfway through the competition before being voted out (Dawn Fraser had the longest journey, finishing sixth amongst ten dancers in Season Three of DWTS Australia).
Best of luck to Libby.