Ryan Lochte Hopes Dancing With The Stars Will Make People Like Him

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When people say they're looking for love on reality TV, they don't often mean the love of an entire nation. Well, they sort of do, but none of them would be so brazen as to, you know, actually say it. Ryan Lochte is not most people.

Lochte was reportedly suspended today for 10 months by the US Olympic Committee, USA Swimming, and the International Olympic Committee, but will fill that time with a secret passion: Dance.

Lochte, whose turn from lovable goofball to international criminal was as well-executed a move as any he's made off a swimming pool wall, hopes to recapture America's heart with his appearance on Dancing With the Stars.

"I think that's one of the things that's really going to help, me being on this show," he tells ET. "There's so many other important things, issues going on in the world, and you know, hopefully this helps, and helps put people in a different mind perspective of me, and you know, just move on, move forward."

Such a good point by Ryan Lochte. It's so hard to focus on things like the election, the latest hot memes, or even what's for breakfast when the Lochte Redemption Narrative has been left painfully unresolved.

Lochte says he's been considering the appearance for quite some time.

"Well, they've been asking for me to be on the [show] for, like, five years now, and with training and the Olympics, I couldn't take that time off," Lochte tells ET. "But now that I'm taking a mental break and everything, I can do the show. So, I decided I was going to do it before the Olympics, and then we finally signed the papers and everything after."

Dang, man. Going from the Brazilian justice system to the bright lights of the Dancing With the Stars stage is quite a transition. We'll know he's gone full troll if he, at any points, dances a samba. The first dance, however, will be a foxtrot with partner Cheryl Burke.

Season 23 of Dancing With the Stars premieres Monday, Sept. 12 on ABC.
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