'Dancing With the Stars' Season 23: Ryan Lochte Issues Statement About Protest Incident [VIDEO]

Ryan Lochte has officially released a statement following the shocking protest incident in Monday night's Dancing With the Stars premiere.

Lochte's Dancing With the Stars didn't exactly go off without a hitch. After the controversial Olympic swimmer danced with partner Cheryl Burke, two men wearing anti-Lochte shirts stormed the stage, only to be tackled by security. The incident had Lochte and many others in the ballroom shaken.

The swimmer-turned-dancer is finally speaking out courtesy of an Instagram message:

 #DWTS #family #dancingwiththestars

A photo posted by Ryanlochte (@ryanlochte) on Sep 14, 2016 at 11:57am PDT

"I want to thank my family, girlfriend, friends and fans for being so supportive of me after the incident on Dancing with the Stars Monday night," Lochte said in the Instagram note. "When I was asked to do the show, the one thing that I kept hearing was that it was like joining a big family," he continued. "After Monday's incident, I now know what that means. I have gotten so much love from everyone on the show, including my partner Cheryl, my fellow competitors, the producers, the security team and its fans. I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the show, and more than ever, I am dedicated to my new family and to working hard to do my best." Lochte isn't letting the incident get to him - at least based on his recent social media posts. He posted a new video on Instagram of himself covered in sweat, explaining that he and Burke will be dancing the quickstep this upcoming Monday. Lochte and Burke received a 24 out of 40 in the premiere, which was on the low side compared to their competition. They are currently tied for ninth place on the leaderboard, with 13 celebs competing in total.

#DWTS #philly #quickstep A video posted by Ryanlochte (@ryanlochte) on Sep 14, 2016 at 4:15pm PDT

It remains to be seen if the protest incident will get into Lochte's head, or if it will fuel him to prove himself even more.

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. There will also be a special Tuesday episode next week.

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