Not after she picked up two awards in the Miss Minnesota pageant.
The 22-year-old from Stillwater, Minnesota, won the Director’s Award and the Spirit of Miss USA Award — and much praise on social media. (The title Miss Minnesota went to Kalie Wright, a former Miss Idaho who was in the 2016 Miss America pageant.)
The umbrella Miss Universe Organization said Holmgren became the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in a Miss USA pageant nationwide.
“It is a lot of work,” she told BuzzFeed. “My mom and I were always shopping and then the mock interviews and getting ready and practicing everything and the makeup and hair. Just look at my face!”
Holmgren, dancing since she was 6, says: “Dancing is a good outlet for me. It’s how I express myself. It’s my talent and I want to show people what I can do and how I can give more.”
“I was super shocked; I was in tears,” Holmgren told Buzzfeed News. “I went from a special needs pageant to the biggest pageant in the world. It’s kind of crazy.”
Holmgren is studying inclusive learning and development at Bethel University in Minnesota and plans to graduate next year, Newsweek said.
Other kudos and coverage:
— Leigh Steere (@leighsteere) November 27, 2017
“I want to be a light shining for acceptance”: Mikayla Holmgren became the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant https://t.co/VbPnOoWLy1 pic.twitter.com/QYj1sANhEx
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 28, 2017
BREAKING BARRIERS: Minnesota’s Mikayla Holmgren becomes the first woman with Down’s syndrome to compete in a Miss U.S.A. state pageant. pic.twitter.com/ocIWC4WLLX
— ABC World News Now (@abcWNN) November 27, 2017
— Life Defenders (@wedefendlife) November 27, 2017
— Bethel University (@BethelU) August 31, 2017
Watch out, Miss USA! Mikayla Holmgren is coming for you! https://t.co/8nAosEH9lk
— POPSUGAR Video (@POPSUGARVideo) June 9, 2017