Cayman beauty queen Anika Conolly may not have placed in the Miss Universe competition in Las Vegas last month, but she said she enjoyed every moment of the pageant.
“It truly was a wonderful experience,” she said after her return to Grand Cayman last week.
Ms. Conolly was welcomed home with open arms by the Miss Cayman Committee.
“Even though I didn’t know what the judges’ results were, there were international pageant experts who thought I did excellent. In that moment, I knew that even if I didn’t win, I had done my best,” Ms. Conolly said.
Her biggest surprise at the pageant was the level of enthusiasm pageant fans had for their queens.
“They came out to every event they could, and they cheered loudly for their favorite girls. Honestly, we would not be where we are without our supporters,” she said.
She told herself before she left, and during the pageant, that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that not many people get. At the competition, she decided to fully enjoy the moment and do the best that she could.
“I think with that mentality, I gained much more than I thought I would.”
She said there were many special moments she will cherish from her trip to Las Vegas but the most special was seeing Cayman Islands flags in the audience raised by her family and the Miss Cayman Committee representatives.
“It warmed my heart when I was on stage because I could feel their love and support from across the theater – Cayman might be small, but we are mighty,” Ms. Conolly said.
Despite most of the pageant being spent participating in rehearsals, Ms. Conolly did schedule in some fun activities like the High Roller Ferris wheel on the Las Vegas Strip.
“We had a bird’s eye view of Vegas and I also got to watch Celine Dion perform. She is a legend and it was a phenomenal experience to watch her sing and engage with the audience.”