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Nigel Lythgoe's Niece

Gold Medals Twice

In That Horse Thing

8/9/2012 11:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details
Charlotte DujardinNigel Lythgoe's niece is now England's idol, after winning her second gold medal in the Olympics this morning.

Charlotte Dujardin rode her way to victory in the non-sport of dressage ... a fancy term for horse dancing.

As for the connection between the famed "American Idol" honcho and Charlotte, she's his ex-wife's sister's daughter. Translation -- even though Nigel calls her his niece, it's really his ex-niece.

Nigel tells us, although he hasn't spoken to her in 9 years, he sponsored her for a year in dressage before he got divorced.

Nigel tells TMZ when he found out Charlotte won for a second time this AM, he actually cried.

Hopefully, we'll see Charlotte on Nigel's next show ... "So You Think You Can Horse Dance."

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