Laurie Hernandez is now tasked with finding a place for the mirror ball trophy among her Olympic medals.
The 16-year-old gymnast, who most recently represented the U.S. in Rio, and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, were announced as the winners of Dancing with the Stars on the show's finale Tuesday.
The pair tied for first on the 23rd season’s premiere and remained at the high end of the leaderboard for the majority of the competition. The talented twosome received the first perfect score of the season on Cirque du Soleil Night in Week 4 and continued to be strong contenders.
After winning, Laurie said, “I just want to thank everyone for their support and riding along this crazy roller coaster of my life. And, my goal is just to inspire others as I go on with my journey, and thanks for being there for me.“
Luckily, Laurie isn’t hanging up her dancing shoes just yet. She will be a part of the Dancing with the Stars tour.
Race car driver James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess placed second, and retired NFL player Calvin Johnson Jr. and his partner, Lindsay Arnold, placed third.
Revealing the winning team wasn’t the only exciting moment on the finale, for which DWTS alumni returned.
Ryan Lochte had a 24K Magic shining moment. That’s him dancing on the judges’ table in blue.
There were also performances from season 21 vet Andy Grammer, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and Jana Kramer. Vanilla Ice had to be our favorite musical act of the night. The rapper got help from his friend, Rick Perry, who might have a budding career as a DJ. Word to your former governors.
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