Hernandez claimed the mirrorball trophy with partner Val Chmerkovskiy.
On Tuesday evening Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez became the youngest ever winner of ‘Dancing With The Stars’.
The 16-year-old and her pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy beat pairs Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold and James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess to capture the mirrorball trophy on the ABC show’s 23rd season.
Appearing on ‘Good Morning America’ the morning after their big win, the pair opened up about the experience of coming out victorious. “It felt amazing,” Hernandez said of the win.
Referring to her busy year, which also saw her win a gold and silver medal at the Summer Olympics in Rio, she added: “There was a lot that went on, but I’m so grateful.”
During Tuesday night’s finale Hernandez’s partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, couldn’t hide his emotions and even shed a tear when the pair were declared the show’s winners.
“It was the ugliest cry … the new Michael Jordan meme,” he said. “But I meant it. [Hernandez is] really special and I wanted to do a good job for her.”
“I think she brings out in me what she brings out in millions of people, is like this beautiful joy and a sense of gratitude,” he added. “To see that in a young person is very inspiring.”
This is Chmerkovskiy’s second win on ‘DWTS’, having previously taken home the trophy in 2015, when he was paired with actress Rumer Willis.
After her win on Tuesday Hernandez had thanked her supporters, saying: “I just want to thank everyone for their support and riding along this crazy roller coaster of my life.
“My goal is just to inspire others as I go on with my journey and thanks for being there for me.”
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