Miss USA crowned Miss Universe 2022 at the at the 71st Miss Universe Competition.
On Saturday, R’Bonney Gabriel won the international beauty pageant that took place at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. Gabriel secured the crown after beating 83 contestants including, runner-up Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel and second runner-up Miss Dominican Republic Andreína Martínez.
The fashion designer, model and sewing instructor was presented with the crown by Miss India, who won the pageant in 2021. Gabriel’s win is just another accolade under her belt. The 28-year-old is also the first Filipino-American woman to win the Miss USA competition.
In addition, Gabriel mentioned during the competition that she hopes the pageant will allow women older than 28 to compete in the future.
“I am 28 years old, and that is the oldest age to compete,” Gabriel said. “And I think that’s a beautiful thing. My favorite quote is, ‘If not now, then when?’ Because as a woman, I believe age does not define us. It’s not tomorrow. It’s not yesterday. But it’s now. The time is now that you can go after what you want.”
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This year’s competition is the first one held under the new ownership company JKN Global Group. JKN purchased the Miss Universe pageant last October for $20 million. The transaction made JKN’s CEO Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip the first woman to own the organization.