Nia Sanchez, Miss Nevada, was crowned Miss USA 2014 in a glittering ceremony held at the Baton Rouge River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday. The 24-year-old is the first beauty queen to win the pageant from Nevada.
The event had 50 contestants vying for the crown and the final six represented the states of Iowa, North Dakota, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Louisiana.
Here are five interesting facts about the new winner.
She Loves to Travel:
Sanchez has been bitten by the travel bug more than once in her 24 years and she has traveled to a total of 13 countries. Soon after her high school graduation, Sanchez moved to work as a nanny in Europe, and from there she travelled to Austria, Switzerland and the Middle East. She has also visited Thailand, China and Mexico.
Sanchez credits her grandmother for forcing her to explore the world.
"I think my grandmother kind of gave me the push when I was 18 years old and graduating high school. …I had never met my family in Germany, but she bought my plane ticket and sent me to Germany to be a nanny for my younger cousins because my aunt was going to school for her masters degree. I can make friends anywhere, but just to see a new culture and experience something new, I just fell in love with it," she told Las Vegas Weekly.
Sanchez is a Taekwondo master:
Sanchez is a firm believer that women need to learn how to defend themselves, as there seems to be no sign of crimes against women decreasing. She has a fourth degree black belt in Taekwondo and has trained for 12 years.
Sanchez lived in a shelter once:
When Sanchez was just six years old, her parents were going through a bitter divorce and during the time the mother-daughter duo stayed at a women's shelter.
"When I was 6 years old, my mom and dad were going through a divorce, and my mom beforehand was a full-time stay-at-home mom, so she didn't have a job or any way to get out on her own. So we stayed at a women's shelter for two months while she got a job and was working. It was great because they provided day care for us while she was out there trying to save up," Sanchez told Las Las Vegas weekly.
Her Boyfriend is actor Daniel Booko
Sanchez's boyfriend is Daniel Booko, an American actor and model, who has worked in The O.C, Hannah Montana, and Desperate Housewives among other projects.
— Daniel Booko (@realdanielbooko) June 9, 2014
Sanchez is a Disney Princess
Sanchez is the face of a character for Hong Kong Disney, and according to her Miss USA contestant biography, she was chosen out of thousands of applicants to be a face character for Hong Kong Disney. Sanchez has been working as a full-time model for the past seven years and was a face character for Disney in the United States as well.