Black Belt Crowned Miss USA
Self-defense is important, says Nevada's Nia Sanchez
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 9, 2014 12:57 AM CDT
Miss North Dakota USA Audra Mari, left, and Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez await the final decision during the Miss USA pageant in Baton Rouge, La.    (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

(Newser) – Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez, a fourth-degree black belt in the Korean martial art of taekwondo, was crowned Miss USA 2014 last night. The 24-year-old from Las Vegas beat out 50 other contestants from all the states and the District of Columbia for the title of 63rd Miss USA. First runner-up was Miss North Dakota Audra Mari. Erin Brady, of South Glastonbury, Connecticut, the 2013 winner, gave up her crown to Sanchez after a three-hour telecast from the Baton Rouge Civic Center in Louisiana.

Sanchez, who will go on to represent the US at the Miss Universe competition later this year, talked about the importance of women being able to defend themselves when asked a question about the high rate of sexual assaults on college campuses. The subject of sexual assault was also on the mind of Miss Pennsylvania Valerie Gatto, who made headlines last week when she said she was the product of rape. During a taped segment that aired when her name was called, Gatto said her mother was 19 when she was attacked leaving work in Pittsburgh and became pregnant. Gatto said she is living proof "that your circumstances do not define your life."

View 2 more images
Next on Newser: UAE Brings in Conscription

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Black Belt Crowned Miss USA is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 5 comments
Jun 9, 2014 5:30 PM CDT
Three hours of this was one hour too long. What a mess.
Jun 9, 2014 12:23 PM CDT
Taekwondo isn't all that useful outside of karate tournaments. A combo of Jiu Jitsui and Muay Thai would have been much more helpful.
Jun 9, 2014 10:04 AM CDT
taekwondo gives anyone who pays a black belt, much like those who pay for their worthless college degree.