Ryan Lochte is looking forward to the day when his scandal in Rio is far behind him.
And he hopes that Dancing With the Stars can help.
While the gold medalist gets ready to compete for the Mirrorball, he’s optimistic that DWTS will help everyone forget about his fake Rio robbery.
“I’m excited for, not only myself, but everyone else to forget about what happened and to move forward,” Lochte explained in an interview with People.
“I think that’s what the biggest thing is – what we’re gonna do is just move forward and show off my dancing skills.”
It’s been a few weeks since the end of the Olympics, but Lochte still can’t escape what went down in Rio.
Lochte told Rio police that he and three other swimmers were robbed at a local gas station. He claimed that a gun was pointed at him, though it later became clear that his entire story was made up.
A Brazilian judge accused Lochte of lying about the events that fateful night and Lochte faces charges for filing a false report.
Despite any future consequences, Lochte is ready to move forward and forget everything that happened.
The swimmer hopes that his DWTS appearance will do just that.
Lochte is teamed up with Cheryl Burke this season, and she is looking forward to working with another athlete.
“I love training athletes how to dance because they’re very determined and their work ethic is amazing, and Ryan is no different — he’s always on time and he’s ready to work,” Burke shared.
She continued: “Sometimes he’s a little too hard on himself cause he wants to be perfect but he has zero dancing experience and I’m like, ‘Listen, you gotta take this whole show one step at a time or else it gets way too overwhelming.’ But he’s been amazing so far.”
— Cheryl Burke (@CherylBurke) September 10, 2016
Meanwhile, Swim Swam released an interview with Lochte and Burke, both of whom sounded confident at their chances at winning it all.
While Burke described how she first met Lochte, he admitted that Dancing With the Stars offered him a perfect opportunity to compete for something now that swimming is over.
“Once thing I have going for me is my work ethic,” Lochte started. “Now that I’m taking a break from swimming, I wanted to still tap into my competitive edge.”
Burke teased fans that they might see Lochte wear his Speedos this season, though the decorated Olympian looked more than comfortable in his rhinestone shirt.
DWTS’: How Cheryl Burke Has Ryan Lochte ‘Smiling Again’ After Rio Scandal https://t.co/SMJ8VcY1sM
— HollywoodLife (@HollywoodLife) September 10, 2016
Burke and Lochte certainly have a good shot at making it far this season, but he isn’t the only Olympian gracing the dance floor this season.
According to Access Hollywood, gold medal gymnast Laurie Hernandez is also competing for the Mirrorball trophy.
Hernandez is partnered with Val Chmerkovskiy and they don’t sound too worried about competing against another Olympian.
When asked if Hernandez was “ready to send Lochte back to the pool,” she barely hesitated before saying, “Um, sure, yes.”
“He’ll go swimming after he meets me,” Chmerkovskiy added.
Clearly, Hernandez is serious about the competition and is determined to take home the grand prize.
“A gold medal is pretty high up there,” Hernandez added. “The Mirrorball is also right behind it, maybe the same level.”
Considering how Lochte is banking on DWTS helping people forget about his scandal, there’s a good chance that he’ll go far in the competition.
Of course, with a field this competitive, Lochte and Hernandez have their work cut out for them in the weeks ahead.
Fans can watch Lochte on the dance floor when Season 23 of DWTS airs Monday nights on ABC.
Tell us! Do you think Ryan Lochte’s appearance on Dancing With the Stars can help repair his image after his Rio debacle? Let us know in the comments below and check out Cheryl Burke’s reaction to Ryan being her partner below.
[Image via ABC]