Miss USA pageant competitor with Down syndrome breaks barriers

St. Paul, Minn. (WCCO) – Days after making history, this trailblazer is still beaming.

Mikayla Holmgren, a Miss USA pageant competitor says, “I was loving it, I was loving it. I love pageants, USA was so fun.”

Mikayla is the first woman with Down Syndrome to compete in any Miss USA pageant.

She hopes her message that true beauty begins on the inside spreads.

“I have special needs and it’s really important–and it’s really in yourself, like dream big without limits.”

Mikayla made everyone smile as she authentically walked and waved in her evening gown.

And there wasn’t a dry eye when her mom joined her on stage while a letter was read honoring Mikayla with the “Spirit of Miss USA” award.

Mikayla’s mother, Sandi Holmgren says, “That just moves a mama’s heart to see that she was loved so much during this pageant.

“Before she went out on stage that night she texted me she said I’m thankful I’m on stage tonight, I will be the awareness that people need.”

Mikayla’s father, Craig Holmgren, says, “And it’s not something that hinders her or holds her back which is inspiring.”

Mikayla proudly took home two awards, the second, the director’s award.

“I’m going to keep em and keep em and keep em– I love them so much.”



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