Nina Davuluri is the second consecutive New York beauty queen to take the Miss America title. The 24-year-old is the second Asian-American winner, after Angela Perez-Baraquio, who is of Filipino descent, and won in 2001
“I was the first Indian Miss New York, and I’m so proud to be the first Indian Miss America,” Nina Davuluri said after she won.
Her father, who emigrated from India 30 years ago, is a gynecologist, and Davuluri said she’d like to become a physician one day as well.
Monday morning, she took the traditional ocean frolic dip in the Atlantic City surf in front of Boardwalk Hall, where she won the title hours earlier. The pageant, which originated in Atlantic City 1921, spent the last six years in Las Vegas before returning to New Jersey.
“Welcome home, Miss America!” Davuluri said as she stood barefoot in the shallow surf, wearing a lime green Miss America T-shirt and white shorts. “We’re back in Atlantic City!”
Her grandmother told The Associated Press that she cried when she saw the news on television.
“I am very, very happy for the girl. It was her dream and it was fulfilled,” 89-year-old Vege Koteshwaramma said by phone from her home in the city of Vijaywada, in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
She said there are numerous doctors in the family, both in the U.S. and India, and that if her granddaughter wants to become one, “I am sure she will do it.”