Two days after being ambushed by protesters during his “Dancing With the Stars” premiere, disgraced Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has spoken out about the incident, thanking family and friends for their support and vowing that he’s “working hard to do my best.”
Lochte made the pronouncement via Instagram on Wednesday, following Monday’s incident, when anti-Lochte protesters took to the stage and called him a liar.
“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 wrote.
“When I was asked to do the show, the one thing that I kept hearing was that it was like joining a big family, I now know what that means,” Lochte continued. “I have gotten so much love from everyone on the show, including my partner Cheryl [Burke], my fellow competitors, the producers, the security team and its fans.”
Lochte concluded, “I appreciate the opportunity to be part of the show, and more than ever, I am dedicated to my new family and to working hard to do my best.”
The swimmer found himself at the center of controversy over the summer, after claiming that he and his teammates were robbed at gunpoint during the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.
Lochte’s account was quickly contradicted, as evidence surfaced that members of the U.S. Olympic swim team may have vandalized a bathroom at a gas station, a claim that Lochte denied.
The swimmer received a 10-month suspension over the scandal, and on Monday he was confronted by people who stormed the stage in protest of his apparent dishonesty.
On Tuesday, Burke posted a reflection on the ambush on Instagram, opining, “No one deserves that sort of behavior directed at them.”
She added, “My heart is aching for Ryan and his family.”