On June 8, 51 beauty queens representing the 50 states and Washington, D.C., fought it out in style in the hopes of being crowned Miss USA. At the end of the night, as has been done for 63 years, one lucky lady was named the winner in this literal hunger games. So who took home the tiara?
You had better look out, because Miss Nevada, Nia Sanchez, walked away with the title. This 24-year-old gal is not your average beauty queen, she’s a fourth-degree black belt in taekwondo — something she picked up as a means of defense after spending time with her mom in a women’s shelter when she was younger. Nia proved she knows all the right moves at the Baton Rouge Civic Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, last night.
So how did Nia do when judge Rumer Willis asked her about the high rate of sexual assault on college campuses in the interview portion? She handled it in typical beauty queen fashion, of course!
“I believe that some colleges may potentially be afraid of having a bad reputation and that would be a reason it could be swept under the rug, because they don’t want that to come out in public,” she answered. “But I think more awareness is very important so women can learn how to protect themselves. Myself, as a fourth-degree black belt, I learned from a young age that you need to be confident and be able to defend yourself. And I think that’s something that we should start to really implement for a lot of women.”
After the swimsuit, evening gown, and interview segments of the evening, it came down to Miss Nevada and Miss North Dakota, Audra Mari, in the finals. Now that she’s won this title, Nia will go on to compete at the Miss Universe pageant this fall.
Are you surprised Miss Nevada was crowned Miss USA? Hit the comments and sound off!