Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo Crowned Miss USA 2012
Olivia Culpo, 20, of Rhode Island was crowned Miss USA 2012, beating out runners-up from Georgia, Nevada, Ohio, and Maryland. The event, which was held on Sunday night in Las Vegas, was judged by a panel of celebrity guests, including Arsenio Hall, Joe Jonas, and Rob Kardashian, and was visited by Donald Trump.
Winner Culpo is a sophomore at Boston University, and in light of her recent win, she will take a year off from school to fulfill her Miss USA duties, reports Fox News. "Would you feel it would be fair that a transgender woman wins the Miss USA title of over a natural-born woman," was Culpo's tough question at the pageant, asked by Kardashian and submitted by a viewer via Twitter. The question referred to the case of Jenna Talackova, who was almost disqualified from Trump's Miss Universe Canada competition for being a male-to-female transsexual.
"I do think that that would be fair," Culpo responded, "but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take that road because there is a tradition of natural-born women, but today where there are so many surgeries and so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life, I do accept that because I believe it's a free country."
The fit-as-a-fiddle Culpo, a cellist and the daughter of musicians, claims that she was chubby as a child, but developed her toned bod after a growth spurt. About her win, Cuplo said that she was "just so surprised, so shocked, so honored to be there."
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