When Daryanne Lees Garcia of Cuba was named Miss Grand International 2014 last October 7, not a few pageant followers raised their eyebrows with the selection. Here is a candidate who took part in and became runner-up (Miss Eco-Tourism) in Miss Earth USA 2014 and held/joined a string of other contests like Miss Puerto Rico Teen, Miss Puerto Rico World 2006, Puerto Rico Model 2007, Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2008, Miss Florida USA 2009, Miss Florida US International 2009 before finally getting picked for the Miss Grand Cuba title and the big one in Bangkok, Thailand.
You really can’t blame the 27 year-old for wanting to become a full-pledged international winner. Her blood roots may not have played out strongly in all previous outings (since she went for either USA or Puerto Rico). But in the end, her greatest achievement happened for Cuba – a country which does not really hold national beauty competitions in their own backyard.
Determination and perseverance could have been the key factors. And MGI owner Mr. Nawatt Itsaragrisil must have sensed the strong qualities that will make Daryanne an excellent successor for Janelee Chaparro.
Come to think of it, her win could also look like a back-to-back victory of sorts for Puerto Rico. But that would be taking away part of the glory that the new Miss Grand International wants to give back to her beloved Cuba. 😉