So why exactly is Ryan Lochte joining Dancing With the Stars for the upcoming season?
Just a few weeks after his Rio scandal, Lochte is set to compete on the fall season of Dancing With the Stars. Considering the Olympic swimmer has quickly fallen out of favor with much of the American public, why would he agree to be on a show where the public helps dictate the results?
Dancing With the Stars showrunner Rob Wade spoke with TVGuide.com recently about signing Lochte to the upcoming season, and how they had been in talks before the Olympics began.
"We were committed to Ryan," Wade said. "We use the show as a place where people can come on and tell their story. It's often been a show where people can come up and talk about things that have happened in their lives that are very positive and things that were more problematic, and we felt like for us, this is an opportunity for Ryan to come on and show his true self and dance on the show and have some fun. We certainly didn't feel like we should be pulling the offer away from him."
As for how the American public will respond to Lochte, who is dancing with Cheryl Burke, Wade was unsure overall.
"I think it's all going to depend on how he dances, quite honestly (laughs)," he said. "I think we're a great place for him to come on and be himself, and people will judge him on how they see him in training, and how they see him on the dance floor. I honestly don't know how he'll do."
Either way, Olympians have traditionally done very well on Dancing With the Stars, with athletes like Apolo Anton Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson and Meryl Davis all going on to win their respective seasons of DWTS. Of course, there are always instances of Olympic excellence failing to translate to the ballroom, like with Lolo Jones, who was the first eliminated in her season.
Dancing With the Stars season 23 premieres Monday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.