Exclusive DetailsNigel 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."