Still sporting her tiara atop perfectly coiffed blonde curls, Mikayla Holmgren couldn’t stop smiling as she recalled what it was like to not only compete in but receive two awards at the Miss Minnesota USA pageant.
“I was super shocked, I was in tears,” the 22-year-old from Stillwater, Minnesota, told BuzzFeed News over FaceTime from her celebratory dinner late Sunday night. “I went from a special needs pageant to the biggest pageant in the world. It’s kind of crazy.”
In addition to winning the Spirit of Miss USA Award and the Director’s Award, Holmgren also made history as the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in a Miss USA pageant nationwide, according to the Miss Universe Organization.