'Dancing With the Stars' Charlie White Reveals Battle With Asthma

PHOTO: Charlie White and Sharna Burgess perform their dance on Dancing With The Stars.Adam Taylor/ABC
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess perform their dance on 'Dancing With The Stars.'

Charlie White is one of the favorites to make it to the finals on "Dancing with the Stars," but the gold medalist hasn't been scoring high marks without a bit of a struggle.

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White, 26, recently revealed to People magazine that he's had asthma since he was born.

"I've always had to train harder than others to get the oxygen to my muscles because of my lung capacity," he said. "I have to push myself past the point of being comfortable."

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He added about competing in the last Olympics: "At one point I had to get a therapeutic usage exemption form and prove that I had asthma. After that they would always test and measure the dosage I had in my system very carefully."

It doesn't help that White competes in a sport -- ice dancing -- that involves ice, cold climates and being in total control.

"When you use the inhaler it has a little bit of synthetic adrenaline in it, and it kind of gets you going," he said. "But in a sport like figure skating where you want to be very under control, you have to find a great balance between being able to breathe enough and feeling like you're yourself. My doctor was able to find the correct medication for me to help me stay relaxed and calm, but at the same time be able to perform at my peak."

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White even recalled the first time his parents realized this was a serious issue.

"I was waving at them and they were saying, 'Oh look how much fun he's having!' And then I just fell on my face," he said. "They came over to me and I was blue and wasn't breathing, so we had to start taking it seriously from then on."