Ryan Lochte and partner Cheryl Burke were voted off “Dancing with the Stars” on Monday night, finishing in seventh place.
Lochte said he “never pictured” he would get a standing ovation a little more than two months after his gas-station incident at the Rio Olympics.
“I learned a lot about myself,” Lochte said immediately after the elimination. “No matter how hard I get knocked down, I can keep fighting. … Everyone here has touched me in a special place right here [pointing to his heart].”
Olympic champion gymnast Laurie Hernandez advanced.
Lochte was the second Olympic swimmer to compete on the show. Natalie Coughlin finished 10th in 2009. Here’s a full history of Olympians on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Lochte is suspended through June 30 and excluded from the 2017 World Championships by USA Swimming as punishment following his gas-station incident.
The 12-time Olympic medalist has said he plans to return to competition after the ban with an eye on the 2020 Olympics.
He’s also getting married to Playboy model Kayla Rae Reid, date undetermined, and will appear in a film with Sharon Stone.
“Now I’m excited to get down and get ready for this big wedding,” Lochte said later Monday.Follow @nzaccardi