Olympic gymnasts on back-to-back seasons of DWTS – is it fair?

Olympic gymnasts on back-to-back seasons of DWTS – is it fair?

By: Ashley Conley

On the last season of ABC’s hit show Dancing With the Stars, gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez pretty much dominated the competition to claim the coveted mirrorball trophy. This season, Hernandez’s USA Gymnastics teammate and fellow Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles is a cast member and is already a favorite to win after just one dance.

Is it really fair to the other competitors to have a highly athletic, flexible gymnast who flips, practices balance and maneuvers through intricate floor routines on the world’s largest stage on back-to-back seasons? Some viewers believe it isn’t.

If you’re a regular DWTS fan, you know that there tends to be some sort of casting controversy every season. Athletes (like Apolo Ohno and Emmitt Smith), musicians who have background in dance (like Lance Bass and Kellie Pickler) and even professional dancers or actresses who have had major dancing roles (like Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Gray and former Beyonce backup dancer and Glee actress Heather Morris who’s competing this season) have been featured in the cast since season one. Despite the seemingly impossible-to-beat competitors from pervious seasons, people still flock to their TV’s at 8 p.m. on Monday nights.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Hernandez won three medals (one gold and two silvers). Biles, who’s considered the greatest gymnast in the world right now, won five medals (four gold and one bronze) including the gold for gymnastics individual all-around.

In her DWTS debut on Monday night, Biles and her parter, Sasha Farber, earned a score of 32/40-the highest of the night-with a stunning tango. You can see the performance here. The olympian’s supporters were live on Twitter to cheer on their star athlete and new favorite ballroom dancer.

And, of course, Hernandez was in attendance to encourage her BFF.


The ‘shoe-in’ to win it doesn’t always get the job done. Therefore, I have to say that Biles following in Hernandez’s footsteps isn’t unfair, but instead an added incentive to watch. I have a feeling someone (maybe Fifth Harmony’s Normani Kordei or NFL standout Rashad Jennings?) may give the 4-foot-9 impeccable gymnast a run for her money.

Cover Image: nbcolympics.com

Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy

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