For the first time in 15 years, an American has won the Miss Universe pageant. Last night, twenty-year-old Boston University sophomore Olivia Culpo had the honor of donning the globally coveted tiara marking the first time since 1997 that the United States took home top honors in the pageant, broadcast on NBC.
The Christmas-themed pageant was hosted by Bravo’s Andy Cohen and E! News’ Giuliana Rancic at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas Strip and included 89 contestants from six continents representing countries ranging from China to Kosovo and Britain. The live event was viewed by about 1 billion people across the world, organizers said.
But the Miss Universe pageant is about more than pretty faces from across the globe. The winner of uses the notoriety to advance personal and humanitarian goals. As Miss USA, Olivia Culpo has become a spokeswoman for breast and ovarian cancer awareness, working closely with organizations such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Gilda’s Club. She also works with the USO as part of the Miss Universe Organization’s dedication to supporting our troops.
Over the next year, she will travel the world partnering with charities and championing for cause alliances, and increasing awareness for HIV/AIDS prevention.