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Miss Mexico crowned Miss Universe as the pageant returns from pandemic shutdown

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 Miss Mexico Andrea Meza is crowned Miss Universe 2021 onstage at the Miss Universe 2021 Pageant at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images)

Miss Mexico Andrea Meza is crowned Miss Universe 2021 onstage at the Miss Universe 2021 Pageant at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images)

Miss Mexico Andrea Meza is crowned Miss Universe 2021 onstage at the Miss Universe 2021 Pageant at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images)

Miss Mexico Andrea Meza has been crowned the winner of Miss Universe, after the pageant took a year out due to Covid-19.

The 69th annual event took place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida on Sunday night where women from 74 countries and territories battled for the crown.

Hosted by Access Hollywood’s Mario Lopez and 2012 Miss Universe winner Olivia Culpo, the competition was finally held after being delayed for a year due to the pandemic.

Zozibini Tunzi, the first black woman from South Africa to win the crown, had held the Miss Universe title since December 2019 - the longest ever reign in the pageant’s history.

This year, 26-year-old Andrea Meza from Chihuahua City, Mexico came out on top, beating dozens of women including Miss Brazil Julia Gama, who was runner-up, and Miss Peru Janick Maceta Del Castillo, who was second runner-up.

Meza is a vegan model and make-up artist and holds a degree in software engineering, according to Miss Universe Organisation's news release.

She is also a women’s rights activist, working “closely with the Municipal Institute for Women, which aims to end gender violence.”

Speaking of her win, Andrea said: “I am so honored to have been selected among the 73 other amazing women I stood with tonight.

"It's a dream come true to wear the Miss Universe crown, and I hope to serve the world through my advocacy for equality in the year to come and beyond.”

President of the Miss Universe Organisation, Paula M. Shugart, added: “It is certainly emotional to see the crown begin a new journey tonight with Andrea.

“After a year unlike any other, I am so grateful for the extra months we got to spend with Zozi, and I know Andrea will reign with strength, ambition and grace.”

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