Ward wins Dancing With The Stars

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Before Hines Ward stepped foot onto the dance floor on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" he said he wanted to bring the Mirror Ball trophy back to Pittsburgh.

After weeks of ballroom dancing, he did just that when Ward and dance partner Kym Johnson were crowned winners of Season 12 of the reality TV show.

Ward beat out actress Kirstie Alley, who finished second, and Disney star Chelsea Kane, who came in third place.

"This is going right next to my Super Bowl MVP trophy," said Ward after the show. "I don't think anybody that knows me thought I could dance. All I have to say is just look at this trophy."

Ward drew praise from the judges all season, including after his final performance when he danced the samba, a routine he performed earlier in the season as a tribute to his mother. The dance earned him perfect 10's and got him the loudest ovation of the season from the studio audience.

"In all honesty I think you are the MVP of Dancing With the Stars Season 12," said judge Carrie Ann Inaba. "You have brought nothing but consistency, focus and diligence. You learned how to lead the dance. I am so impressed with you. You dance with heart."

One of the driving forces in getting Ward the Mirror Ball trophy was the coaching and choreography provided by Johnson. But he also couldn't have done it without the support of Steelers fans, as votes counted for 50 percent of the scores.

"When I started this competition I never thought I would be in the finals," said Ward. "I owe it all to Kym. She is an amazing teacher.

"I want to thank all of the fans. We love Steelers Nation. I appreciate all of the votes and I hope I represented the City of Pittsburgh."

Ward is one several NFL players who have competed on the show, but judge Len Goodman got it right when he said Ward was the best of the bunch.

"We've had some great football players on Dancing With the Stars," said Goodman, "but I don't think any compare to Hines Ward."

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