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Ryan Lochte is coming out of his shell. The Olympic swimmer received a total score of 24 from the Dancing With the Stars judges for his contemporary dance with Cheryl Burke to "A Song for You" by Leon Russell. The dance was dedicated to his mom for "Most Memorable Year" night. Lochte picked 2008, the year he won his first gold medal at the Olympics—something he wouldn't have been able to do without the support of hims mom and family.

"I'm so happy," he told E! News' Sibley Scoles after the show. "I keep getting better. I'm loving this process."

 

Dancing With the Stars

ABC

And don't mind the battered toes, it's all part of the process.

"The first couple of weeks it was hard. I was in a shell, I was shy to come out and show people who I really am," Lochte said of his new energy on the dance floor. "Now I think people are starting to see who I really am and they're like, ‘This is a good guy,' and I'm in this process of going on this show and dancing…everyone around me is so nice. I'm on cloud nine."

Lochte opened up about his relationship with his mother in his pre-taped package.

"Having my mom, my family right there in the stands, watching all my dreams come true, that is definitely something I am definitely going to remember," he told Burke in the intro to their dance. "I want to dedicate this routine to my mom because there's not enough things I can do to show my appreciation to my mom. This is just a little, little, small token to say thank you mom. Thanks for being there."