Natalie Coughlin to appear on "Dancing with the Stars"

Natalie Coughlin

Team Speedo swimmer Natalie Coughlin has been officially announced as a contestant on cycle 9 of ABC's hit "Dancing with the Stars." The season premiere is Monday, September 21.

It's the latest evidence to show swimming's gain in national popularity.

Natalie Coughlin was the most decorated female athlete of both the 2008 Beijing and 2004 Athens Games. Coughlin has won a medal in every single Olympic event that she has ever entered, for a total of 11 Olympic medals. In 2008 she became the first American female athlete to win six medals in one Olympiad, in addition to becoming the first woman to win consecutive individual Olympic gold medals in the 100m backstroke. She is also the most decorated female swimmer in World Championship history, with 16 medals. Born and raised in northern California, Coughlin attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a BA in psychology in 2005.

Natalie will compete against a diverse group of contestants including:

Chuck Lidell, Ultimate Fighter

Michael Irvin, retired Dallas Cowboy

Kathy Ireland, model/businesswoman

Donny Osmond, entertainer

Kelly Osbourne, singer

Mya, singer

Macy Gray, singer

Melissa Joan Hart, actress

Tom DeLay, former Texas Congressman

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