After 11 weeks of grueling competition, Dancing With The Stars has a new Mirror Ball winner!
16-year-old Olympic champion, Laurie Hernandez, danced her way to victory with her partner Val Chmerkovksiy. She beat out former NFL'er Calvin Johnson and race car driver James Hinchcliffe.
It was an emotional victory for Hernandez who just last week lost her grandmother. She visibly broke down on stage, but used her emotion to power herself through to the finale.
"I just want to thank everyone for their support and riding along this crazy roller coaster of my life," Hernandez said after her win. "My goal is just to inspire others as I go on with my journey and thanks for being there for me [...] Through my life, I do want to inspire others. That's my goal every day, so because of Val, he's taught me that it's a good thing to go out and feel that pressure and have that responsibility to go and inspire others."
Chmerkovskiy jumped in to add his own words, as well. "Thank you so much! To all the kids out there, you don't have to wait to grow up to change the world. Be great. You're the future. Thank you so much!"
Hernandez celebrated her win with something a little unexpected...ice cream. Cookies and cream, to be exact.
"Just a combination of the best flavors ever!" explained her dance partner.
Hernandez says this win rivals that of her Olympic wins.
"I feel like they tie for each other. The Olympics, as a little kid, it was such a big goal that I'd created for myself and I was able to push through and make that happen, so for the Mirror Ball, it was like I've always loved to dance and my passion was dancing as well as gymnastics, so winning the Mirror Ball today was insane and amazing."
Though the show is over, Laurie will head on tour with the DWTS cast, and her partner could not be more excited!
"I'm definitely going to miss her," the pro dancer said of his partner. "I'm excited that she's going on tour with us and she's going to continue to be a part of the Dancing with the Stars family. We love to have her."
Congratulations, Laurie and Val!