Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward beat out Disney star Chelsea Kane and reality star Kirstie Alley to win the title on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" on Tuesday night.
"Winning means a lot. When I first agreed to do the show, I was nervous. My goal was just not to be voted off first," said Ward, a 12-year wide receiver for the Steelers. "Winning gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I could conquer a fear, that I could do something I knew nothing about, because I had never danced before."
Ward and Johnson scored 89 points out of a possible 90, while Kane equaled that and Alley scored 84. But it was the voting from the public that pushed Ward over the edge. Kane was the first elimination of the night.
Ward is the sixth athlete to win the crown, after football legend Emmitt Smith (fall 2006), Olympic skater Apolo Anton Ohno (spring 2007), race car driver Helio Castroneves (fall 2007), figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi (spring 2008) and Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson (spring 2009).
And Ward is thanking Steeler Nation for the help.
"I am proud and blessed to spend my entire career with such a great organization, with the best fans in the world," Ward said.
Now it's time for Ward to return to the football field.
"I know I will miss seeing the friends I have made on a daily basis. This show has been amazing and I have had a blast," Ward said. "Yes, I will miss it, but hopefully I will soon be able to focus on heading to training camp to make another Super Bowl run this upcoming season. But right after the show is over next week, I am looking forward to spending some time with my son and my mom and then catching back up with my teammates at camp."