Ryan Lochte hopes his Dancing With the Stars appearance helps people move forward.
“I’m excited for, not only myself, but everyone else to forget about what happened and to move forward,” Lochte told PEOPLE at the Good Morning America cast reveal party in New York City on Wednesday. “I think that’s what the biggest thing is – what we’re gonna do is just move forward and show off my dancing skills.”
The swimmer, 32, previously told PEOPLE he was sorry for making the false claim that and three other Team USA swimmers were robbed at gunpoint at a Rio gas station on a night out and later admitted on GMA that he still wasn’t sure what really happened that night.
Though a Brazilian judge pressed charges against Lochte for making the false claim and ordered him to appear in court, the Olympian is ready to put the scandal behind and focus on the challenge ahead with his partner, returning pro Cheryl Burke.
Of the partnership, previous Mirrorball-winning champion Burke said, “I love training athletes how to dance because they’re very determined and their work ethic is amazing, and Ryan is no different – he’s always on time and he’s ready to work,” the DWTS vet said.
She added, “Sometimes he’s a little too hard on himself cause he wants to be perfect but he has zero dancing experience and I’m like, ‘Listen, you gotta take this whole show one step at a time or else it gets way too overwhelming.’ But he’s been amazing so far.”
Season 23 of Dancing With the Stars premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.