Unification News for January 1999

Mr. - Ms. University Beauty Pageant

by Leandros Olivas -- Phoenix, AZ

In the end of October, I was asked to Represent America by participating in the 21st Mr./Ms. University Beauty Pageant which was to be held in Tokyo, Japan. After I accepted to participate. I began preparing the necessary requirements to compete. Sooner than I expected, it was time to go. Immediately I noticed the hospitality of the staff. I really began to appreciate them more and more as our stay progressed.

Before meeting the other participants, I did not know what to expect. Myself and Ms. America, Highmy Herbers, were one of the first participants to arrive. Mr. and Ms. Brazil, (Gutemberg Lopes Guedes and Alexandra Scotti) as well as last year' s Mr. University, Diego Costa, were among the first contestants to greet us. It was then that Diego told me, "...were going to have a lot of fun." Participating in other kinds of competition through out high school and for recreation, I always knew that in a serious competition it usually is not very fun. However, I found out that evening when we started talking, and getting to know each other, that it was more of an easy going, friendly atmosphere.

After the next few days more and more of the participants arrived and we got to meet them as they came. We began to have a pretty nice time together making friends with people all over the world. I was glad to have this kind of atmosphere instead of a serious type of competition. I myself like having a good time with people, telling stories, listening to jokes and hearing about interesting experiences.

Pretty soon the day of the pageant arrived. We had our dress rehearsal and then there was the show. Everyone, I thought, had a pretty entertaining stage performance. Before going on stage to do my performance I of course was a little nervous. After having watched the 1994 Mr./Ms. University Pageant, I never thought that one day, four years later I would on stage. Next they announced the ten finalists. Five male contestants and five female contestants were chosen. I was also won of the lucky ten to have been chosen. We were asked our question and then we all went backstage. We then came out again and waited for the prizes to be announced. This year there were ten prizes awarded. Mr. and Ms. Friendship Prize (awarded to those who one the most friendship votes), Mr. and Ms. Talent (awarded to those who earned the highest score during the First Phase of Judging), Special Prize for Mr. and Ms. (to those who left the greatest impression to the Judges), Runner-up Mr. and Ms. University ( to those who earned the second highest in the total score) as well as 1998 Mr. and Ms. University International( the representatives of the world who scored the highest among all the representatives). Soon enough the prizes were announced when finally my name was announced as Mr. University! Then Ms. Brazil, Alexandra Scotti, was announced as Ms. University! There were many pictures and much clapping.

However, I felt a little saddened after the pageant. In two days we would be returning to our countries. After having living with the contestants for several days we all really became close friends. When we did leave there were many tears. No one wanted to, or did say, good-bye. We all said that we would see each other again someday. We all came back to our countries but I knew that in a second I would trade that Title if could did not have to leave these wonderful brothers and sisters from around the world.

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