Laurie Hernandez Wins “Dancing with the Stars”

by Meredith Cooper

Olympic champion gymnast Laurie Hernandez has won the 23rd season of “Dancing with the Stars.” 

“I’ve had two dreams since I was a little kid,” Hernandez said on “Dancing with the Stars.”  “One of them was to go to the Olympics.  The second dream was to be on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’”

Although an Olympic gold and silver medalist, Hernandez’s time on “Dancing with the Stars” was not without it’s challenges.  Just before her first dance, protestors against Olympic swimmer and fellow contestant Ryan Lochte disrupted the show.  Security tackled one of the protestors who came on stage while others were escorted from the ballroom.

“I felt like it took away from Laurie’s moment.  A moment that she dreamed of all these years,” said Valentin Chmerkovskiy who was Hernandez’s dance partner on “Dancing with the Stars.” “But Laurie held herself together, and she still had an incredible performance.”  Hernandez and Chmerkovskiy tied with James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess for the highest score that week. 

Hernandez also had to deal with the death of her grandmother during the show’s run and became emotional after performing the foxtrot to Tori Kelly’s “Hollow.” Although dealing with her loss, she still scored a perfect 30 from the judges for that dance.

While the 23rd season of “Dancing with the Stars” may be over, Hernandez is not quite done with dancing yet.  It was announced during the show’s finale that Hernandez will be going on tour with “Dancing with the Stars.”

We at OutlooK-12 Magazine would like to offer a special congratulations to Laurie Hernandez who is also our Publisher’s Choice for the 2016 OutlooK-12 Magazine’s Hispanic Role Model of the Year.  Go to for more about Laurie and her many achievements.

(Photo Courtesy of ABC/Eric McCandless)