by REERA YOO | @reeraboo
Sanchez is the first contestant from Nevada and fourth Hispanic to be crowned Miss USA. Last January, she represented America in the Miss Universe 2014 competition and finished as the first runner-up, following Paulina Vega of Colombia. But don’t let the tiara fool you.
The 2014 Miss USA is a fourth-degree black belt in taekwondo and has been practicing the martial art since she was 8-years old. She began teaching taekwondo at age 12, becoming a certified teacher three years later. As if that wasn’t enough proof to not mess with this beauty queen, Sanchez also has two years of Brazilian jiu-jitsu training under her belt.
At the appointment ceremony, Sanchez expressed that coming to Korea has been a dream of hers, as taekwondo has been such a big part of her life. She also told the audience that she was a shy girl when she first started taekwondo, but gained more self-confidence over the years as the martial art taught her “discipline, integrity and perseverance.”
“The life skills I’ve learned from taekwondo have helped me become successful in all parts of my life,” Sanchez said in her speech. “Because of what I’ve learned in taekwondo, I was able to become Miss USA. Now, I have this platform as Miss USA to share taekwondo with the rest of the world.”
As the new global ambassador for taekwondo, Sanchez said she hopes to encourage more women to take up the sport, emphasizing that women are just as capable as men in terms of discipline, confidence and strength.
During her stay in South Korea, the 2014 Miss USA will visit the Kukkiwon, also known as the world taekwondo headquarters, and attend the 2015 World Taekwondo Hanmadang in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province. Sanchez is scheduled to fly home on Saturday.
Featured image via Yonhap