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Hines Ward

MVP Wide Receiver & Activist
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Biography

Hines E. Ward, Jr. (born March 8, 1976 in Seoul, South Korea) is a professional football player who is the starting wide receiver for the 2006 Super Bowl XL Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. He was voted MVP of Super Bowl XL for his outstanding performance. He has also become a symbol of the value of multiculturalism in South Korea and is currently championing the cause of biracial children in Korea.

Mr. Ward's versatility has served him well as an NFL wide receiver. Since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft, he has led the Steelers in at least one team category every year, has earned three team Most Valuable Player (MVP) selections, and was named co-captain for the 2006 Steelers Super Bowl team. He is also a four-time consecutive NFL Pro Bowl selection (2001-2004) and is the only player in Pro Bowl history to score a touchdown on an onside kick. He has led the Steelers to the Super Bowl 3 times and is a 2-time Super Bowl champion. He has broken many Steeler records including the all-time receptions record previously held by Hall of Famer, Lynn Swann. He is the only receiver in Steeler history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons and he currently holds the record for receptions in a single season. In his final season as a Steeler, Hines reached two more milestones as he became only the 8th receiver in NFL history to reach 1,000 catches in his career and the first in Steeler history and he joins only Jerry Rice as the only two players to reach 1,000 career receptions and win multiple Super Bowls. He also surpassed the 12,000 yards receiving mark as well and moved into 19th place in NFL history and is among the NFL's elite receivers with 1000 career catches.

On February 5, 2006, Mr. Ward was named Super Bowl XL’s Most Valuable Player in the Steelers 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Ward scored a 43-yard touchdown in the 4th quarter, thrown by teammate Antwaan Randle El. Overall, Ward had five receptions for 123 yards and one rush for 18 yards.

Mr. Ward's mother (Kim Young-hee) is Korean and his father (Hines Ward, Sr.) is African-American. Mr. Ward completed the trip of a lifetime in April 2006, spending 11 days in South Korea for the first time since his birth there 30 years ago. Ward made the trip with his mother, Kim Young-hee as a gift to his mom and to learn more about his Korean heritage as well as spread good will and gratitude to the people of Korea. He met with the biracial children of the Pearl Buck Foundation to give them his support while he was in South Korea. Mr. Ward, too, went through a tough time as a child, denying his Korean heritage to avoid being teased by other kids.

Mr. Ward has a passion for helping children. Every home game in which he scores a touchdown, upon scoring in the endzone, he is known to search the stands for a child with his #86 jersey on, and he gives the touchdown ball to that child as a sign of support and gratitude. Because of his love for children, Mr. Ward has started his own foundation for kids, the “Helping Hands” foundation. He plans on continuing the battle to help make life easier for the mixed race kids in South Korea as well, who face teasing from other kids their age. "I will make the struggle to end bi-racial discrimination my chief cause, for which I will devote my time and resources, both in the United States and Korea," said Ward, during a press conference before he returned home. Mr. Ward plans to return to South Korea each year through his Hines Ward Helping Hands Korea foundation in partnership with the Pearl Buck Foundation to help mixed race children there. Mr. Ward is known in Korea as the Ambassador for biracial children and hopes to make this his legacy both at home and abroad.

For his efforts both on and off the field, Mr. Ward has been featured in and on many media outlets including, among many others, the NBC Morning Show (Mother’s Day edition), ESPN profiles, HBO’s “Inside the NFL,” ABC’s “Person of the Week,” the cover story of Korea’s Esquire Magazine, the cover story of MOVES magazine, the cover story of Korea’s Newsweek magazine, the cover of Sports Illustrated (3 times), and was featured on CBS’s special 2007 Super Bowl preview show as he was interviewed by Katie Couric. He has been on numerous radio sports talk shows ranging from Atlanta's own 680 The Fan, 790 The Zone, and V103 to Sirius Satellite Radio's NFL Network and "The Scott Farrell Show." Among many other appearances both at home and abroad, recently, Hines has joined the world’s leader in news media, CNN, as a co-host to the popular “Morning Express” with Robin Meade. As a CNN anchor and correspondent, Hines has gone from nationwide to worldwide as he will be reporting on sports, current events, and special interest stories world-wide.

Hines has become an international role model to children everywhere. Having persevered through many trials as a child in a single parent home, Hines has dedicated his time off the field to the betterment of inner city and underprivileged youth in the Pittsburgh and Atlanta areas. His Helping Hands U.S. Foundation focuses on improving literacy among children and will provide programs and services to better equip them for achieving and handling success in life. Abroad, his Helping Hands Korea Foundation (formed as a tribute to his mother) has targeted biracial discrimination, especially as it occurs among the children of Korea. With visits to Seoul each summer, Hines has already made a significant impact on the entire country of Korea by speaking out against the country’s discriminatory practices and by pledging his time and allegiance to the biracial children there. Indeed, with his dedication of both “heart and soul” to his Helping Hands cause both here and abroad, Hines Ward is considered by many to be the world’s “Ambassador of Hope” to children from all walks of life.

Other foundations Ward is a part of include: Hines Ward Positive Athlete Program, Pearl S. Buck International, The Caring Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Salvation Army, Make a Wish Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and Take a Player to School.

Topics

A Conversation with Football Legend Hines Ward

Helping Hands: Speaking Out Against Mixed-Race Discrimination

My Multi-Racial Upbringing

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