Woman with Down syndrome makes beauty pageant first

<i>(Image via Facebook/Mikayla Holmgren)</i>
(Image via Facebook/Mikayla Holmgren)

Mikayla Holmgren, 22, has become the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in a Miss Minnesota pageant, taking home the Spirit of Miss U.S.A title on Sunday.

Holmgren, who was called a “trailblazer” by the pageant’s executive co-director, was given the award after competing on Saturday in Burnsville, Minn. She’s the first ever contestant with the genetic disorder to compete in a Miss U.S.A state pageant.

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“I’m really good at them because it’s my passion,” Holmgren told KSTP of her pageantry experience. “It’s really fun. As I do more pageants and I’m really proud of myself … this is my dream.”

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The blonde beauty had previously been crowned Minnesota Junior Miss Amazing in 2015 and competed in the national Junior Miss Amazing in Los Angeles, the Tribune reported. “Mikayla is a trailblazer,” executive co-director of the pageant, Denise Wallace, told the newspaper.

Holmgren said she wants the world to know that her Down syndrome “does not define” her. “With your help, I can help break through walls,” she told KARE television.

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