Warsaw, Poland – Karolina Bielawska from Poland was crowned the 70th Miss World during the final held in Puerto Rico’s capital of San Juan earlier this week.
The 22-year-old woman from Łódź, who works as a model and is studying for her master’s degree in business management, claimed the coveted prize after a three-month delay caused by Covid-19.
She becomes the second Pole to be elected as the most beautiful woman in the world after Aneta Kręglicka in 1989.
Succeeding to Jamaica’s titleholder Toni-Ann Singh, Ms. Bielawska beat Miss USA Shree Saini and the Ivory Coast’s Olivia Yacé, respectively first and second runner-up in this year’s competition.
The Miss World televised ceremony was marked by gestures of solidarity and messages of support – including a candle tribute during the final – with Ukrainians following Russia’s invasion of the country nearly a month ago.
“We must do something, even if it may seem never enough to light one candle, if we all light a candle together we can change the world,” Miss World CEO Julia Morley said in a statement released ahead of the pageant.
“More than 7,000 candles have been prepared for the Miss World Final in what will be an emotional and spectacular finale to the day of support,” the statement reads.
Just before the final, organisers of the pageant shared a message from Miss World Ukraine 2016 Oleksandra Kucherenko.
“My beautiful country has become a zone of war, death and pain,” she says in the video, calling people from all around the world to help and support Ukrainians in any way they can. “Our peace is your peace”, she adds.
The 2021 Miss World Final was initially supposed to be held in December but was postponed after many organisers and participants – including more than 20 contestants – tested positive for Covid-19. The 2020 pageant had already been cancelled due to the pandemic.