By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – Having won gold at the Winter Olympics in Sochi just last month, ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White could already call 2014 a banner year. As icing on the cake, the pair will split temporarily, getting new partners to try dancing off the ice as part of the cast of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
Students at the University of Michigan, Davis and White were the first Americans ever to win gold in ice dancing.
Davis and White have been skating together since elementary school, but for the show, Davis will be partnered with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, while White will dance with Sharna Burgess. Obviously, with their athleticism, rhythm, and performance experience, Davis and White will be early favorites in the competition.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, former Detroit Red Wing Sean Avery is also part of the 2014 cast. Avery’s 10-year NHL career included two stints in Detroit between 2001 and 2003. He last played in 2012. Avery will dance with Karina Smirnoff.
Nine other celebrities – including several other athletes – will take the dance floor (at least once) on the show this season. Candace Cameron Bure, perhaps best known for her portrayal of D.J. on Full House, will dance will Mark Ballas. Comedian Drew Carey will partner with Cheryl Burke. Nene Leakes, a reality show creation from the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” series, will dance with Tony Dovolani. Musician James Maslow of Big Time Rush will partner with Peta Murgatroyd. Actress and author Danica McKellar will dance with Valentin Chmerkovskiy.
Diana Nyad, the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida, will partner up with first-time Dancing with the Stars professional Henry Byalikov. Paralympian Amy Purdy will dance with Derek Hough. Teenage pop singer Cody Simpson will pair up with another first-time Dancing with the Stars pro, Witney Carson. Actor Billy Dee Williams will dance with Emma Slater.
One more sports world staple on the show this season will be the host – sideline reporter Erin Andrews, who competed on the show in 2010 and took third place with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy.