Erin Brady relinquished her crown last night.
At the Louisiana Civic Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Miss USA competition went in the favor of Miss Nevada. Nia Sanchez, age 24, took home the gorgeous crown last night, a first time beauty pageant win for her state. Congratulations, Nevada (and Miss Nevada)!
Sanchez, in my opinion, definitely deserved the title for her wonderful outspoken belief in women defending themselves. Sanchez is a fourth degree black belt in taekwondo, citing the importance of women being able to defend themselves against rape, as well as the importance of bringing awareness to feminine self-defense. Sanchez discussed how she spent part of her childhood living with her mother in a women’s shelter. At around the same time she took up taekwondo as a child to build up her defenses and confidence. She even started teaching the martial art at age 15 and has long practiced as a way of strengthening her body, mind, and spirit.
Sanchez’s runners-up were Tiana Griggs from Georgia, Brittany Guidry from Louisiana, Brittany Oldehoff from Florida, and Carlyn Bradarich from Iowa.
The theme of the night was definitely women’s self-defense, proving that beauty pageants are not all about good looks and bikinis. Multiple pageant contestants spoke out about sexual assault, defense, and overcoming situations in which they were bullied.
In the end, Sanchez was announced the winner by Giuliana Rancic, who we spoke with last week. All of the contestants looked gorgeous, spoke eloquently, and certainly rocked their bikinis and gowns.
A huge congratulations to Miss Nevada, who will hold the title of Miss USA for the next year.