South African Lebohang Monyatsi and Polish Adrianna Zawadzinska were elected respectively first and second dolphins in a beauty-pageant which brought together 24 young women from 19 countries representing the five continents in Warsaw, Poland. They spoke about their experiences and personal reflections on their condition. Football player and French model Nadjet Meskine was elected Miss smile.
Alexandra met the announcement of her victory with tears of joy. “Fight your anxiety and your fears,” she said at a gala evening, after the contestants had presented themselves in national costumes and evening dresses in elaborate choreographies.
Organized at the initiative of the Polish non-governmental foundation Jedyna Taka, the aim of this contest was « to change the image of women in wheelchairs so that they are not defined solely through this equipment, » Mrs Katarzyna Wojtaszek-Ginalska, co-founder of the project and chairman of the jury, told AFP.
In this competition, « it is not the physical appearance that counts the most. Of course, the beautiful face prevails, but we look closely at the personality of the girls, their daily activity, their commitments, their social life, their projects, » explained Mrs. Wojtaszek-Ginalska, who is also in a wheelchair.
The first edition of Miss Wheelchair World attracted contestants from Angola, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, India, Italy, Poland, Russia, South Africa, the United States and other countries.