Nicola Adams is moving from the squared circle to the ballroom, and taking another woman with her. The two-time Olympic gold medalist and professional boxer will be the first person to dance with a same-sex partner on Great Britain’s hit dancing show, “Strictly Come Dancing,” the Guardian reports.
Adams, who won gold at the London 2012 Olympics and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, says her addition to the lineup is a long-awaited step forward for the hit reality show. “It’s definitely time to move on and be more diverse, and this is a brilliant step in the right direction,” she told the BBC.
Adams’ partner hasn’t been revealed yet.
“Strictly” is the original edition of “Dancing with the Stars,” which is seen in other countries around the world, including the U.S. The British version has come under criticism in recent years for not featuring same-sex couples. Other versions of the show in Australia and Ireland have recently included same-sex dancing partners. Earlier this year, the executive producer for “Dancing with the Star’s” in the U.S. said the show will soon include same-sex couples.
Adams, who identifies as bisexual, told the BBC she only intended to do the show if she could dance with another woman. “I asked the show about it,” she said. “They wanted to know if I wanted to be on the show and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it, but I want to dance with another female dance partner.’”
Adams, who retired in November rather than risk partial blindness due to an eye injury in the ring, was named Outsports Female Athlete of the Year in 2016. More recently, she has become an outspoken opponent of transgender inclusion, expressing support for anti-trans statements by former Olympian Sharron Davies MBE, and twice tweeting that trans women athletes should only be allowed to compete in their own, separate category from cisgender women.
The 18th season of “Strictly Come Dancing” will begin airing in October.
EDITOR’S NOTE: our original post did not include details about Adams’ retirement, her injury or her stance on transgender athlete inclusion. Those details have been added to our story to more accurately reflect Adams’ history and her perspectives on issues impacting the LGBTQ community.