Ryan Lochte Injured His Ankle During 'DWTS' Attack


Ryan Lochte Injured His Ankle During 'DWTS' Attack


Cheryl Burke says her swimmer partner injured his ankle when protesters tried to attack him during 'Dancing with the Stars' premiere.
Ryan Lochte was injured during the premiere episode of "Dancing with the Stars" season 23. In a blog post on PEOPLE, the athlete's pro-dancer partner Cheryl Burke revealed that he suffered an ankle injury when protesters stormed the stage and tried to attack him.

Burke assured that everyone was OK although they're still shaken by the incident. "This morning, I got up and headed to rehearsal with the other pro dancers. Everyone is definitely a little shaken up about what happened, but it's good to be dancing and focused on next week's show," she wrote.

She went on, "We have a quickstep this week and Ryan did injure his ankle a little when the protester got tackled, so we'll have to see how our first rehearsal goes. But at the end of the day, we are all just so grateful that no one was more seriously injured."

"I'm sure security will be increased for Monday's show but, honestly, I still feel 100 percent safe in the ballroom," Burke continued. "We have an amazing security team who have worked on the show for years and they are incredible."

She remembered the terrifying incident, "We were standing there listening to [judge Carrie Ann Inaba] give us her thoughts when I suddenly saw someone walking onto the ballroom floor in a T-shirt with a red line through Ryan's last name. My first thought was, 'Is this a joke? Is this scripted and no one told us? Too soon, guys.' But as soon as he started yelling 'Boo! Lochte! Liar! Lochte!' I realized it was a serious situation."

"My mind started racing. My initial concern was if the guy was armed or not. DWTS is a family show and I knew there were kids in the audience and I just didn't want anyone to get hurt," Burke said.

"I looked up to Ryan and I could tell he was on the verge of tears. I could feel his heart sinking into his stomach - and to be honest, mine was too," she said. "The first thing he did was turn to me and say, 'I'm so sorry.' I just told him, 'Never tell me you're sorry again. These tears are just because I don't want you to be hurt or for you to lose your spirit.' "

She added, "Ryan's actual mom was in the audience and I just saw her bawling. After the show, I went up to her and just held her as she cried. She was with some other members of Ryan's family and they all started apologizing. I told them, 'You all need to stop apologizing to me. Ryan is a great guy and I have his back 100 percent, so let's all keep moving forward and our heads up.' "

The protesters wearing anti-Lochte T-shirts to the show have since been arrested. They were tackled by security before they could reach the swimmer. A "DWTS" rep said that they did "a full evaluation of security procedures" and "any changes deemed necessary" would be made following the incident.


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