I almost fell off my chair when I read this.
I really don't think she is that pretty, but then I am not sure that is the main reason for her winning.
Riyo Mori (森 理世, Mori Riyo?) (born December 24, 1986 in Shizuoka, Japan), is a Japanese dance instructor. She won the Miss Universe beauty pageant in May 2007. She is the first Asian Miss Universe since 2000, when Lara Dutta, Miss India, clinched the crown. She is only the second Japanese woman to be crowned; Miss Universe 1959, Akiko Kojima, was the first. This was the longest gap for a country winning at Miss Universe. Asian Miss Universes are rare and there have only been eight in all in the 56 years of the pageant. (Apasra Hongsakula and Porntip Nakhirunkanok of Thailand were Miss Universes 1965 and 1988 respectively; Gloria Diaz and Margarita Moran of the Philippines were Miss Universes 1969 and 1973 respectively; and Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta, Miss Universes 1994 and 2000, hailed from India). Christiane Martel, the only Miss France to win, was one of the judges the night Riyo Mori was crowned.
Mori is the first Japanese in history to pass the audition for The Rockette Summer Intensive. She has studied at Quinte Ballet School of Canada and also is a graduate of Centennial Secondary School in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. She usually works as a ballet dancer.
Prior to winning the Miss Universe 2007 crown, Mori had caused quite a stir to pageant fans, especially to the Filipinos, when she incorrectly thought that Miss Philippines, Anna Theresa Licaros, did not want to be photographed with the Asian delegates. The mistake was due to Mori's poor English comprehension. Miss Philippines later clarified the incident. She said that the photographer failed to include her in a photograph with the other Asian contestants and asked, "Am I not Asian?"
Mori was crowned Miss Universe 2007 in Mexico City, beating Miss Brazil, Venezuela, Korea, and USA in the top five. She is the second Japanese Miss Universe in 48 years. The first Miss Universe winner from Japan was Akiko Kojima in 1959.
Mori, from the small town of Shizuoka at the base of Mount Fuji, won the cheers of the Mexico City audience when she opened her interview, saying "Hola, Mexico!" When asked by a judge during the interview competition what is the one lesson learned as a child that still affects her life today, she responded "I learned how to always be happy, to be patient and to be positive, and this is what I want to teach to the next generation." The daughter of a dance school manager, Mori said her grandmother told her as a child that she wanted her to be Miss Japan before she turned 20. "From the very beginning, I entered the competition with high hopes and an unswerving determination to make this dream a reality," she said in a pre-competition interview.
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