Athlete Weighs in on Whether DWTS Is Harder Than the Olympics


“Dancing With the Stars” alum Chris Mazdzer — who also happens to be an Olympic silver medalist in the luge — has weighed in on which event is scarier and he says that “Dancing With the Stars” is absolutely scarier than the Olympics.

Chris Mazdzer Said ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Was Absolutely ‘Terrifying’

In an interview with NBC Sports, Team USA luge competitor was asked about competing on “Dancing With the Stars” and he said it was a completely “different mindset” from competing at the Olympics and it was “terrifying” for him.

“You did seem me on ‘Dancing WIth the Stars’ … I mean, talk about terrifying. Like, cool, 10 million people are about to watch me and the countdown’s like 10-9- and it’s like oh my god! Way more butterflies,” said the Olympian.

He went on to say that there are so many things to think about during ballroom dancing and his “claw hands” from being a luger didn’t help anything.

“There’s so many things to think about! Even when you’re doing [other] things, you just have to make sure your hands are like — I have these claw hands probably just because I paddle, right, like this is our sport, so I’ll do things and [Witney’s] like, ‘What is your hand doing?’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t know!’ said Chris.

The luger was partnered with professional dancer Witney Carson in season 26. They were eliminated right before the finals, so he finished tied for fourth place. He told NBC that having 20 years of luge under his belt makes that a lot less scary than “Dancing With the Stars.”

“I was only training for a couple days before those dances, where with luge, I’ve done this for 20 years. I got it. Little different mindset,” he said.

Witney Was Pumped to Finally Get Paired With an Athlete

In an interview with Team USA during his time on “Dancing With the Stars,” Witney admitted that she was “so excited” to finally get paired with an athlete on the show.

“When I heard that Chris Mazdzer was going to be my partner, I was so excited. I was so excited to get an athlete. This is my first Olympian on the show, which is pretty incredible, so I was excited,” said Witney, adding, “My relationship with Chris is very fun, we’re kind of like brother and sister … but we also work really hard. I think both him and I are very determined, competitive people, so we have a good balance of fun and hard work.”

Chris also praised Witney’s work ethic and her ability to keep his motivation high.

“My relationship that I have with Witney is very positive. It’s professional, she’s amazing at what she does, she’s fun, but she knows how to work hard, how to get on me, how to make me work harder and there’s a lot of times I want to give up, but she’s doing a really good job keeping me motivated,” said Chris.

He then laughed and added, “I think the biggest challenge in learning how to dance is actually learning how to dance. Coming from zero dance background to then be expected to perform in front of millions of people has been a serious challenge. I’ve never moved my body in the ways that it is moving to a beat, in front of a crowd. There’s a lot happening.”

He also revealed that he was using his technique of visualization, which he uses a lot in luge, to visualize himself doing well in the dances and he found that really helped him in his performances.

As for his luge career, Mazdzer won the silver medal in men’s singles luge at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang — he missed the gold medal by 0.026 seconds, according to In 2022, he finished in eighth place during the men’s singles finals, which was the highest placement out of the U.S. competitors, according to the NBC Olympics site.

“Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31. If it is renewed, it will return in September 2022.

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