Lochte to dance away from controversy
US swimming star Ryan Lochte will look to turn the page after his drunken hijinks at the Rio Olympics cost him lucrative endorsements – by appearing on the reality TV show Dancing with the Stars.
Lochte, 32, is among 13 celebrities to sign up for the popular television show, which launches its newest season on September 12, US network ABC confirmed earlier this week.
“I’m breaking out my dance shoes for Season 23 of #DWTS!” Lochte tweeted.
The line-up also includes gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, former rapper Vanilla Ice, former Texas governor Rick Perry and actress Maureen McCormick, who appeared in the popular 1970s sitcom
American football star Calvin Johnson, reality TV star Amber Rose and Indy race car driver James Hinchcliffe are also among those scheduled to compete.
Lochte used the announcement of his upcoming turn on the show to repeat his regret about his “big mistake” in Rio.
Brazilian authorities last week charged him with making a false report about being robbed at gunpoint during the Olympics. Lochte had already left the country by the time the charges were filed.
The Olympic gold medal winner had told the media in Rio that he and three teammates had been mugged after an all-night party by robbers pretending to be police.
The tale humiliated first the Brazilian hosts of the Games and later Lochte’s own Team USA, after police determined that he had largely concocted his story.
Top sponsors, including Speedo and Ralph Lauren, abandoned Lochte in the uproar over his made-up story, and he could still face disciplinary action over the incident by USA Swimming and the International Olympic Committee.
But Lochte told ABC’s program that it was time to move on, and that “everyone [is] blowing this way out of proportion”.
“I’m never one to dwell on the past. I just want to move forward,” the beleaguered swimming star said.
“Everyone has got to be sick and tired about hearing about this,” he said. “I just want to move forward.”