US First woman with Down syndrome competes in Miss USA state pageant

19:36  28 november  2017
19:36  28 november  2017 Source:   CBS News

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The Miss Minnesota USA pageant also made headlines last year when it featured Halima Aden, the first contestant to wear a hijab. Holmgren now has until November 26 to prepare, and she’s excited to make a difference as the first person with Down Syndrome to compete for the crown.

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a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. MINNEAPOLIS -- A Minnesota woman with Down syndrome won awards and received national attention after competing in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant over the weekend, CBS Minnesota reports.

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

She competed at the Ames Center in Burnsville on Sunday and won the Spirit of Miss USA Award and Director's Award. The audience gave Holmgren a standing ovation as she accepted the awards.

a woman wearing a purple shirt: Mikayla Holmgren, 22, became the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant. © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Mikayla Holmgren, 22, became the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant.

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

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(WFLA) — A Minnesota woman with down syndrome is being called a trailblazer after a pageant this weekend. Pageant officials believe she is the first person with down syndrome in the country to compete in a Miss USA state pageant .

Mikayla Holmgren, 22, of Stillwater, Minnesota became the first woman with Down Syndrome to compete in any Miss USA state pageant . She yelled with joy as she accepted an award and the audience gave her a standing ovation.

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

Holmgren began dancing at age 6, and in 2015 was crowned Minnesota Junior Miss Amazing. She said when she got 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 would love to model. I want to live independently and continue to be an advocate for inclusion. I want to be a light shining for acceptance," Holmgren said on Facebook in October.

Mikayla Holmgren, 22, became the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant.: screen-shot-2017-11-27-at-3-01-33-pm.png © Handout/CBS Minnesota screen-shot-2017-11-27-at-3-01-33-pm.png

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