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The Best Athletes to Compete on Dancing with the Stars, Ranked

Where does your favorite fall on the list?

Keisha Hatchett

The all-athletes edition of Dancing with the Stars confirmed something we already knew: sport stars own the ballroom floor. Over the course of 26 seasons, the reality competition series has seen the likes of boxing legend Laila Ali, Olympic figure skating champion Evan Lysacek and many more compete, with several athletes taking home that coveted Mirror Ball Trophy over the years. That's why we've ranked our favorite sports greats to hit the floor in the video above.

Some of these swift-footed winners include former NFL wide receiver Hines Ward, who tackled the competition and was crowned the Season 12 champ, and Emmitt Smith, whose surprising lightness of foot made him the first athlete to take home the prize back in Season 3. Decorated speed skater Apolo Ohno followed suit in Season 4 as the second athlete to win the competition.

But even among the athletes, figure skaters have done exceptionally well on DWTS. Who could forget Meryl Davis' standout performances during Season 18? The ice dancing figure skater, who has been called a real-life Disney princess, won over judges and fans alike with her charming personality and smooth moves, taking home top honors during her season. You also can't leave out Kristi Yamaguchi, who won Season 16, and Adam Rippon, who just took home the trophy for the recent all-athletes cycle, beating out fellow figure skaters Mirai Nagasu and living legend Tonya Harding.

However, our top pick for the best-performing athlete isn't a figure skater at all. After delivering consistently great performances during Season 8 and remaining a front-runner all the way up to the finale, gymnast Shawn Johnson is hands-down the champ of all champs. She even returned for Dancing's all-star edition where she took second place, losing out to former Bachelor contestant Melissa Rycroft.

Where does your favorite athlete fall on our list?

Dancing with the Stars returns this fall on ABC.

Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson, Dancing with the Stars

Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson, Dancing with the Stars

Kelsey McNeal, ABC