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Nigel Lythgoe's Niece Gold Medals Twice In That Horse Thing

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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."

0809_charlotte_dujardin_gold_horse For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

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