Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte sports his American flag grill by Paul Wall (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

American hip-hop culture has found its way into the hearts of Olympians, who are expressing their love of rap as they perform in London. Gold medal winners like Serena Williams, Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps and Gabby Douglas are showing their love of hip-hop in the most surprising ways.

Lochte, 28, who has won two gold medals in this year’s games, has been nicknamed Swim Thugga. The 6’2″ American swimmer is not only allegedly dating Love and Hip Hop‘s K Michelle, but he also had rap insiders Paul Wall and TV Johnny make him a diamond-encrusted American flag grill. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) wasn’t as impressed, and has banned Lochte from wearing it again if he wants to receive any of his medals.

theGrio: Olympic swimmer Ryan Lotche’s American flag grill made by Paul Wall

After winning against Maria Sharapova at the Woman’s Singles, Serena Williams, who grew up in Compton, did the Crip walk in celebration. She has received some backlash for performing a gang-affiliated dance. Fox Sports‘ Jason Whitlock wrote: “What Serena did was akin to cracking a tasteless, X-rated joke inside a church[.] Serena deserve[s] to be called out. What she did was immature and classless.”

But the four-time Olympic gold medal winner is not about to apologize for her expression of joy, or the controversy her dance might have caused.

“I don’t care. That’s the least of my worries… I’m so excited I was able to do the dance. I’m glad I did it!” she told Us Weekly on Monday.

theGrio: Serena Williams in no mood to slow down, eyes Rio Olympics

The most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, received congratulatory tweets from rappers Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy. “I have been able to have some pretty cool things. I got a tweet from Lil Wayne… and got tweets from Jeezy,” Phelps gushed over these communications:

theGrio: Kids learn how to swim at Michael Phelps Foundation

Sixteen-year-old Gabby Douglas, the first African-American female to place first in the all round women’s gymnastics event, recently did the popular hip-hop dance the Dougie to celebrate her achievement. Many have criticized her version of the dance, saying her execution wasn’t so creative — but her two gold medals should compensate for any critiques of her Dougie style.

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