Mikayla Holmgren just made history, inspiring the entire world in the wake of her accomplishments.
The beauty queen was the first woman with Down Syndrome to compete in a Miss USA beauty pageant. Holmgren was beautiful and graceful as she accepted her awards at Miss Minnesota 2017 pageant.
— Leila Navidi (@LeilaNavidi) November 26, 2017
The award was The Spirit of Miss USA award. The award is acquired through letters family and friends who talk about the contestant.
In a statement to ABC by co-director of the pageant Denise Wallace talks about one of the letters Mikayla received that lead to her win.
“[Her friend] wrote about how Mikayla lights up a room and has no expectation for people to treat her differently. She’s an incredible spirit. Everyone loved her, every contestant, every family.”
And who could deny that statement, watching Mikayla accept her award on stage?
— ABC News (@ABC) November 27, 2017
In an interview with KSTP, Mikayla mentions that she’s been doing pageants for a while now, considering it one of her “passions.”
Rightfully described as a “trailblazer”, she was even crowned 2015’s Junior Miss Amazing, where she got to show off her dance skills for the crowd and judges.
To Mikayla, accepting the award was a bit overwhelming. She tells Buzzfeed,
“I WAS SUPER SHOCKED, I WAS IN TEARS. I WENT FROM A SPECIAL NEEDS PAGEANT TO THE BIGGEST PAGEANT IN THE WORLD. IT’S KIND OF CRAZY.”
Mikayla Holmgren said she was so shocked she cried when she won two awards at Miss Minnesota yesterday. She also made history as the first woman with Down Syndrome to compete in a @MissUSA state pageant 👑https://t.co/dBqh8BP2FE pic.twitter.com/rdxXHmTzgF
— Brianna Sacks (@bri_sacks) November 27, 2017
“Hi my name is Mikayla Holmgren, and I feel very happy and I’m very, very excited I got this award tonight. I was super shocked, I was in tears. My mom was too.”
According to Refinery 29, Mikayla inspired other girls with the same condition to compete in the pageants as well.
Lana Beaton, a mother of a two-year-old with Down syndrome, told the publication,
“I WAS OVERWHELMED — I WAS FULL OF SO MUCH HOPE AND JOY AND EXCITEMENT FOR HER AND OUR FUTURE.”
Mikayla has bodied her disability and is showing that people with Down Syndrome can do anything.
She tells The New York Post her disability in no way shape or form, “defines her.”
The world is very excited to watch you continue to do beautiful things, Mikayla!