A young Red Deer woman has received a top honour in a recent American Beauty pageant.
Gina Omilon, a local beauty queen, was named first runner up in the recent competition.
She competed against about 40 girls during the pageant which took place in Florida last month and was also awarded second place and honourable mention for People’s Choice as well as second place for Paris Themed Fashion.
The pageant is for north, south and Central American competitors. The categories that Omilon competed in included interview, swimsuit and evening gown.
“I am really excited. I definitely didn’t expect it,” said Omilon. “Going into it I wasn’t really sure how I was going to do. My goal was to make top five. If I wouldn’t have made top five I would have been really disappointed.”
She added doing pageants in the past helped her to feel more prepared for the Miss American Beauty pageant.
“Doing Miss Teen Canada two years ago helped me feel more prepared for this pageant. I think just having experience this time around and knowing what to expect helped a lot.”
After the competition during the announcement of the finalists, Omilon was thrilled to make the top five.
“I could see my manager (Christi Woolard) in the back and she was all smiley and I was happy. I was thinking I had gotten fourth runner up. My name didn’t get called and it didn’t get called again and again. I made eye contact with my manager the whole time and she was dancing in the back.”
On the way home, Omilon, who wears her sash in public, had a layover in Dallas and during her time at the airport people were coming up to her asking to take photos with her.
“People were coming up to me and telling me they were from Canada too. The West Jet staff asked if they could take pictures with me which started everyone else who was waiting to also ask. It was just a nice memory.”
As well, Omilon said she was happy to see the progress she made seeing as this was only her second pageant that she has competed in.
“It wasn’t really something that I had thought of doing until Miss Teen Canada. I was really excited to not only see the difference in the competition and how I performed in this one, but just the overall improvement in the last two years. I like seeing that progress.”
Omilon was named Miss Teen Alberta earlier this year.
“They just opened the division. It was just for the U.S. when it just started and now they have opened it up to South America and Canada,” she said, adding that she was officially crowned Miss Alberta 2014 in April.
Before being crowned Miss Alberta 2014 this spring, Omilon has worked hard to achieve other goals as well. She was crowned Miss Teen Red Deer at a provincial pageant hosted by the Miss Teen Canada World in Calgary in March 2012. She held that title for one year before passing it on.
And last July she co-hosted the Miss Teen Canada World Pageant in Toronto alongside Luke Bilyk of Degrassi: The Next Generation.
She has also been contacted by Miss Petite Canada to compete with them as well.
“If I competed with them then I could potentially go on to compete in Miss Petite Universe so that is something that I will keep in mind as well.”
Going forward, Omilon will finish out the rest of her year as Miss Teen Alberta before passing along that title next spring.
She is using her title as Miss Teen Alberta 2014 to spread a message of confidence as well.
This fall she will be traveling to Edmonton to speak at a conference called True Beauty for young girls and boys.