Who is Mikayla Holmgren? Miss Minnesota, USA UU Contestant with Down syndrome



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The story was made on Saturday during the Miss Minnesota USA contest when the beauty contest included its first contestant with Down syndrome.

Mikayla Holmgren became the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in the beauty contest. The 22-year-old is from Stillwater, Minnesota, which is almost 30 miles west of Minneapolis.

Not only was Holgrem happy to simply compete, he also went home with two awards: Spirit of Miss USA Award and Director's Award.

"I was super impressed, I was crying," Holmgren told BuzzFeed News Sunday night. "I went from a special needs contest to the biggest contest in the world, it's crazy."

In addition to beauty contests, Holmgren is currently a student of the Inclusive Learning and Development program at Bethel University and is involved with the child at the university's care center. She is also the ambbadador for Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create opportunities for people with various disabilities.

The Miss Minnesota beauty pageant is no stranger to breaking barriers, in fact, almost a year ago the contest included its first contestant to wear a hijab in all rounds.

Since her first appearance in the beauty contest, Halima Aden, 20, signed a modeling contract with IMG Models and appeared on the cover of Vogue in June.

These are great steps for diversity within beauty pageants, however, the plus size model Ashley Graham criticized the Miss Universe pageant for the lack of "curvaceous girls".

"I think it's really important that we continue to show diversity of all sizes, ethnicities, backgrounds and religion," Graham said in a Fox News interview on Friday. "So for me, I'm here to show the diversity of size, because we still have not had a curvaceous girl in Miss Universe or even in the Miss United States contest."

"If you can see a girl with curves on the cover of Sports Illustrated or Vogue, then we can definitely see a curvaceous girl like Miss Universe," he continued.

Miss Universe aired on Sunday and crowned Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel Peters.

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