The first woman with Down syndrome competes in the Miss Minnesota USA contest


MINNEAPOLIS – A Minnesota woman with Down syndrome won awards and received national attention after competing in the Miss Minnesota USA contest over the weekend, reports CBS Minnesota.

Mikayla Holmgren, a 22-year-old Bethel College student, became the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in the contest.

He competed at the Ames Center in Burnsville on Sunday and won the Spirit of Miss USA Award and the Director Award. The audience gave Holmgren a standing ovation when he accepted the awards.

Earlier this year, CBS Minnesota spoke with Holmgren about his accomplishments.

"I'm really excited, it's in the world and people are going to know about this," Holmgren said in April. "I want to do this alone and I'm very, very proud of myself."

Holmgren started dancing at age 6, and in 2015 she was crowned Minnesota Junior Miss Miss. She said that when she received an application in the mail for Miss Minnesota USA, she begged her mother to let her do it.

"I hope to continue dancing, I want to teach art to young children, and I would love to model, I want to live independently and continue to advocate for inclusion, I want to be a light that shines through acceptance," Holmgren told Facebook in October.

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