Dancing with the Stars winter sport athletes give competitors a run for their money
LOS ANGELES -- In this season’s premiere of Dancing with the Stars, it wasn’t the heat but the ice that cracked the competition.
With three figure skaters and a luge competitor, they gave basketball and football legends a run for their money.
"It knocked the wind out of us. Literally, did you see it? We’re exhausted,” said the team of Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon and dancer Jenna Johnson.
Their dance knocked the wind out of them, but the bronze medal-winning figure skater and his partner Jenna Johnson hit it out of the park with their first dance of the season, tying for the highest scoring couple of the night.
And slick moves by Tonya Harding who brought what may have been called a “redemption skate” in the form of an elegant foxtrot with Sasha Farber.
The dancing duo says this is just the start.
"Oh my gosh, I just felt so great. I just went out and just had fun,” said Harding.
Farber added, "I'm so lucky to be a part of -- to be Tonya’s partner. And this is so neat for her. This is her second chance and she got to do it and it’s only the beginning from here.”
The other athletes aren’t letting the stiff competition crack them just yet.
Basketball legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar says he’s excited to get another round.
"I just wanted to do it and look good. I didn’t expect to be called back another week. I just wanted to not embarrass myself and to look good and do what we planned and we pulled it off,” he said.
He said taking the dance floor is a bit different than taking the basketball court.
Notre Dame Basketball player Arike Ogunbowale agreed as she brought a bit of familiarity to her dance donning a shimmery jersey and sneakers.
"I mean I just knew I was going to go out there and have fun so I’m glad that the energy rubbed off on all the fans,” said Ogunowale.
Eight couples moved on to the next round with only three weeks left to win that mirror ball trophy.