'Dancing With the Stars' Season 26 All-Athlete Cast Members Revealed

In what is being promoted as the most competitive season of Dancing With the Stars ever, the show announced the full list of all-athlete cast members Friday morning on Good Morning America.

Among the 10 professional athletes announced Friday morning were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Johnny Damon, Mirai Nagasu, Chris Mazdzer, Josh Norman, Arike Ogunbowale, Jennie Finch, Tonya Harding, Jamie Anderson and Adam Rippon.

The show also revealed the 10 professional dancers returning to the lineup. The group includes reigning mirror ball champion Lindsay Arnold, along with Sharna Burgess, Witney Carson, Emma Slater, Gleb Savchenko, Artem Chigvintsev, Keo Motsepe, Alan Bersten, Jenna Johnson and Sasha Farber.

Retired NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be partnered with pro Lindsay Arnold; MLB player Johnny Damon will dance with pro Emma Slater; Tonya Harding is heading to the ballroom with pro Sasha Farber; figure skater Mirai Nagasu is paired with pro Alan Bersten; figure skater Adam Rippon joins pro Jenna Johnson; snowboarder Jamie Anderson joins pro Artem Chigvintse; Olympic luger Chris Mazdzer will dance with pro Witney Carson; softball player Jennie Finch is paired with Keo Motsepe; NFL player Josh Norman will dance with Sharna Burgess; University of Notre Dame women's basketball player Arike Ogunbowale will dance with Gleb Savchenko.

Controversial ice skater Tonya Harding, Olympian sweetheart Adam Rippon, Olympian softball player Jenny Finch and Olympian snowboarder Jamie Anderson were previously announced in a sneak peek last week.

Hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews will also return to their roles for the special four-week event slated to premiere April 30.

Noticeably absent from the list of professional dancers were Maksim Chmerkovskiy, wife Peta Murgatroyd and brother Val Chmerkovskiy while the three are out on the CONFIDENTIAL tour, which doesn't end until May 16, as previously reported in a PopCulture.com exclusive. Maks' absence further fuels rumors that last season with Vanessa Lachey was his last.

Fan-favorite professional Mark Ballas is also missing from this year's pro lineup.

Fans speculated for months that Rippon, who took over fans' hearts at the 2018 Winter Olympics, would be joining the show, despite the fact that his schedule would conflict with dates of his already-confirmed Stars on Ice tour, which runs April 6 through May 20.

But when Entertainment Tonight asked Rippon about appearing on the show, he didn't deny it.

"I think it would be a great opportunity and it would be really fun," he said during a Facebook Live interview. "It would be really fun. I've always wanted to learn how to dance, because I've just been a solo act, like a one-man show."


"You know, it would be a crazy schedule," Rippon explained. "Like, the dates are all going on during the Stars on Ice tour, so it would be a lot of traveling. And I've never danced with a partner before. I think [my dancing skills] are more like solo skills."

"Usually I'm a crazy person, like really outgoing, kinda, like, loud, so when I go out, I'll just start dancing a little bit and I'll be having a good time and usually people think like, 'Oh, she's crazy,'" he continued, poking fun at his dance skills. "They're not wrong, but usually it looks like I'm going to hurt myself. And that's by myself! I don't know what kind of insurance [there is]."