Olivia Culpo brings Miss Universe title to USA, ending 15 year losing streak
In her DEEP v-neck red velvet Christmas-inspired gown, 20 year old Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Universe last night at the 61st annual Miss Universe 2012 pageant. Culpo competed against women representing 88 other countries and territories including 1st runner up Janine Tugonon. This is the eighth crown for the US, more than any other nation, ending a losing streak that has gone on since Brook Lee’s 1997 win. US territory Puerto Rico has a total of five crowns.
Olivia Culpo, who hails from Rhode Island, was crowned Miss USA 2012 in June after winning her first beauty pageant ever, Miss Rhode Island 2012. The middle of five children, Culpo was brought up in a musical family in Cranston, RI. Culpo began studying cello in second grade and has performed with various ensembles including the Boston Youth Symphony and has performed at Boston Symphony Hall and Carnegie Hall. Culpo is currently in her junior year at Boston University. Culpo takes the crown from Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes.
Having served from September 12, 2011 to December 19th 2012, Lopes is the longest reigning Miss Universe in the pageant’s 60 year history. Leila Lopes became the fourth African, second native African, and the first from her native Angola to ever win the Miss Universe title. Lopes spent her year as a national ambassador championing for HIV/AIDS awareness, specifically the discrimination people with the disease encounter, and showing the world that there is more to the continent of Africa than poverty, hunger and disease.