After 25 seasons, Dancing With the Stars decided to shake things up for season 26 with a more concise all-athletes edition for the first time ever. While longtime fans of the series are torn about only celebrity athletes competing this season, the fact is that athletes have been some of the most successful on the show. Over the past 25 seasons more than 60 athletes from different areas of the sports industry have tested out their fancy footwork on the dancefloor and, while some have flailed, many others have found success. Out of 25 completed seasons, an athlete has won 10 times and athletes have placed in the top three 23 times! Now, with all athletes competing, take a look back at 12 of the best that that the show has seen so far:
12. James Hinchcliffe – Season 23
Although the NFL and Olympians have been well-represented when it comes to athlete competitors on Dancing With the Stars, far fewer racecar drivers have taken on the challenge. When James Hinchcliffe joined season 23, expectations were not high for the man who was better known for his fast driving than fancy footwork. Quite a few athletes competed on Dancing With the Stars in season 23, but it didn’t take long for Hinchcliffe to stand out and surprise the judges and audiences, not to mention he was incredibly charming which only had more people rooting for him. Although he came in second place with Sharna Burgess behind Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy, Hinchcliffe cemented himself as one of the most memorable and beloved athletes to compete on the show.