It no longer comes as a complete surprise that some Miss Universe placers went on to achieve greater victories in other beauty pageants. Consider Ilma Julieta Urrutia Chang of Guatemala first. She is the only Big 4 pageant winner from the Central American country to date. After landing in Miami Beach for Miss Universe 1984, she was easily noticed and became one of the running favorites going into the finals. True enough, she found herself being called to join the Top 10. And while her climb to the Top 5 never materialized, she was still considered a very competitive beauty queen such that country organizers decided to field her once more. And at the Kanagawa Prefectural Civic Hall in Yokohama, Japan, she outlasted the competition and defeated early picks from Venezuela and Sweden (who became her runners-up) to become Miss International 1984. There is also Laurie Tamara Simpson of Puerto Rico. Her first stop was Singapore for Miss Universe 1987. In the Lion City, she made heads turn and was constantly in the short-list of many pageant followers. And during the Coronation Night, she was initially part of the Top 10. From there, she performed well enough to snatch the fifth and final Top 5 spot (from 6th placer Geraldine Asis of the Philippines). Eventual winner Cecilia Bolocco of Chile was a winner right from the start, though, and she got the 4th Runner-Up honor for her efforts.
But when it was time to conquer Tokyo, this Puerto Rican became a strong front-runner. At Nihon Seinen-Kan, she was elected Miss International 1987, big notches better than her MU achievement.
There are still other ladies who went the same route as Ilma and Laurie in the major beauty contests. But since Miss International 2014 will be starting soon, I opted to focus on them as the Throwback Thursday feature of the week. 😉