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DWTS Champ Receives College Diploma at 39

Dancing With the Stars” champion from season 13 has obtained his college diploma. J.R. Martinez, who won the Mirrorball Trophy alongside pro Karina Smirnoff, shared the news on Instagram.

“Diploma in hand… that means it’s official #collegegrad,” Martinez captioned his post. Details surrounding his diploma weren’t made clear, so Heavy reached out to Martinez for comment.

Martinez shared a couple of pictures of himself holding his diploma with a huge smile on his face, clearly proud of his accomplishment. Fans took to the comments section of the post to congratulate him as well.

Here’s what you need to know:

Martinez Received Tons of Positive Feedback on His Post

Martinez is a combat veteran who served in the army. On his official website, he talks about being hit by a roadside bomb while on “patrol in Iraq” in 2003.

“The vehicle, loaded with explosives, ejected the three other soldiers in the car, leaving me trapped inside alone. I thought my life was over, but I survived. In the years following the accident, I had over 34 different surgeries including multiple skin grafts and cosmetic surgeries,” he explained.

Following his time in the service, Martinez has achieved just about everything he has set his mind to. From winning “Dancing With the Stars” to writing a book — and now getting his college degree, Martinez has accomplished great things over the years.

Fans were very happy for Martinez and shared in his joy by responding to his post in the comments section.

“Congratulations. Hard work pays off. Simply amazing,” one person wrote.

“Congratulations, Jr, I am delighted for you and your family! You did it and I hope to someday follow your example,” someone else added.

“Heck yeah!! Way to go after it and crush your goals,” a third Instagram user said.

“Yay!!! Congrats! I graduated at 40 and it was one of the best things I ever did,” a fourth comment read.

Martinez & His Wife Live in Austin

Since winning “Dancing With the Stars” in 2011, a lot has happened for Martinez. He got married in 2018 and now lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Diana, and their two kids, Lauryn and Leo.

Martinez has always spoken very highly of his time on DWTS, which was undoubtedly a big highlight of his life thus far.

“I had an amazing time on the show. The experience provided me with a whole new platform and introduced me to my wonderful fans. Not to mention, after my time on the show I was honored to be asked to serve as Grand Marshall of the 2012 Rose Bowl Parade,” he wrote on his website.

As for what’s next on his agenda, Martinez has been training to run the 3M half marathon which takes place on January 22, 2023.

“I really enjoy running. It’s therapeutic for the body and mind. At this stage of life, I have more time to commit to something I enjoy. Race day is my reward for all the miles I’ve put in over the last few months. I’ve had to push myself mentally and physically throughout my training. I’ve reiterated to myself I can do things I don’t want to do or think I can do. It’s important to understand we never stop training the mind & body. It’s a journey,” he captioned an Instagram post on January 15, 2023.

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