NEW ORLEANS (AP) — R’Bonnie Gabriel, 28, of the United States has been named the new “Miss Universe.” In a live show in New Orleans, she beat 83 contestants on Saturday evening (local time), organizers said. Gabriel took the winner’s tiara from his predecessor Harnas Sandhu (22) of India.
Amanda Dudamel (23) of Venezuela and Andreena Martinez (25) of Dominican Republic came second and third in the 71st Miss pageant. Soraya Coleman, 24, from Leipzig, represented Germany.
Born in Houston, Texas, R’Bonney Gabriel holds a bachelor’s degree in fashion design, organizers said. The former high school volleyball player now has her own company and works with eco-friendly and sustainable textiles. According to the organizers, she is the first “Miss Universe” from America with Filipino roots. His father hails from a Southeast Asian island nation.
In the Q&A session, Gabriel said he would like to work on, among other things, raising the age limit of the competition to 28 now. “As a woman, I don’t think age defines us,” she said. Her favorite motto is “If not now, when?”.
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