Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Venezuelan beauty aims for Miss Universe crown

Can Venezuela break another Miss Universe record and win for the third time in a row? That's exactly what 21-year-old Marelisa Gibson will be hoping when she lines up with the 83 other contestants on August 23 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas for the 58th annual Miss Universe beauty contest.

In 2009, 18-year-old Stefania Fernandez made Miss Universe history when she was crowned by her compatriot and 2008 winner Dayana Mendoza.

It was the first time any country has had successive victories since the pageant began in 1952 and it brought Venezuela's total number of Miss Universe crowns to an astonishing six, only surpassed by the USA with seven.

No wonder Venezuela has a reputation for producing the most beautiful women in the world.

Now it's Marelisa Gibson's chance to win the coveted crown. But can the Caracas-born beauty do it?

A student of architecture at the Central University of Venezuela, Marelisa speaks French, English and Spanish.

As she makes clear in the video, her best gift has been her large family and 33 cousins.

But it's her animal impressions - especially that weird howling cow - that could prove to be a winning formula.

The beauty queen is certainly upbeat about her prospects. Asked by an Online magazine what she expected from the pageant she said: "To win the Miss Universe crown for Venezuela once again. Why not?"

"Stefania just proved that it was possible to win the crown two times in a row, why not three?"

Let's hope Marelisa makes history on August 23 and brings the Miss Universe crown home to Caracas.

This is a good year for Latinas at the pageant. The British candidate, Tara Hoyos-Martinez, was born to Colombian parents living in England and is the first Latina to win Miss Great Britain. She proudly represented her Latino roots at this year's Carnaval del Pueblo celebrations in Burgess Park.

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