71st Miss Universe: Ukraine wins 'Spirit of Carnival' award

Miss Universe Ukraine 2022 Viktoria Apanasenko received the "Spirit of Carnival" award during the 71st Miss Universe competition held in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

The award was presented to her by Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy "for embodying the company’s values of fun, friendship, diversity and inclusion."

"Viktoria Apanasenko has made it her mission to remind us that the war is ongoing and people across Ukraine are working to support their military, as well as their neighbors affected by the war – especially those displaced from their homes," said Duffy.

"I’m impressed by Viktoria’s strength and her kind and giving character which truly embodies the ‘Spirit of Carnival.' And through this recognition, we are also letting the people of Ukraine and especially our Ukrainian crew members know that we continue to support and admire their spirit as well."

A short video of the award presentation was featured during the 71st Miss Universe live telecast from the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center last Saturday, January 14.

Viktoria holds a master's degree in social work from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Overcoming bullying during her school years inspired her to work with mental health causes.

As a Peace Ambassador of the UN Global Compact Ukraine, the 29-year-old supports the "Mental Help" project which provides free, professional psychological help for the victims of the war in Ukraine.

Since the start of the war in her country, she has volunteered to prepare food for the armed forces and also helped provide food, medicine, and hygiene products to Ukrainian families.

In addition to helping her fellow Ukrainians, she wants to bring awareness to the importance of gender equality in the military through her work with The Female Quotient, an organization founded to advance gender equality in the workplace.

This is the third time a Miss Universe contestant received the "Spirit of Carnival" award. Previous winners were Miss Universe Dominican Republic 2020 Kimberly Jiménez and Miss Universe Bahamas 2021 Chantel O’Brian.

Photos: Viktoria Apanasenko / Instagram


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