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.
“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.”
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.