Woman With Down Syndrome Makes History In Miss USA State Pageant

November 28, 2017

A young woman with Down syndrome has become the first woman with the disability to compete in the Miss USA state pageant.

down sydnrome miss america USA contestant
Mikayla Holmgren / Future Productions, LLC

Mikayla Holmgren, 22, was a contestant in Miss Minnesota on Sunday. She didn't win the crown, but she took home the spirit of Miss USA award and the director's award — which recognizes a young woman that is a standout in the pageant.

"It's really fun," she said. "As I do more pageants and I'm really proud of myself ... this is my dream," Mikayla told KSTP.

Mikayla has previously competed in junior pageants and was crowned Miss Minnesota Junior Miss Amazing in 2015.

"I'm really good at them because it's my passion," she said.

down sydnrome miss USA america contestant
Future Productions, LLC

The audience gave Mikayla a standing ovation when she accepted the awards.

"Anybody that spends even five minutes with her knows that she is the right person to be the first to represent a community of people that need to see themselves doing something like this," said the competition's executive director Denise Wallace.

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