Mina Sue Choi believes Miss Earth successor will carry her ‘legacy’

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Miss Earth 2022 Mina Sue Choi and newly-crowned Drita Ziri of Albania. Image from Miss Earth / Facebook

HO CHI MINH, Vietnam — Miss Earth 2022 Mina Sue Choi became the first Korean woman to be crowned for this pageant last year. And this year, she relinquished her crown to the first Albanian woman to score the title, Drita Ziri.

“I’m happy for her, and I know she’s gonna have an amazing journey. My legacy will carry on through her, so I’m very happy about that,” Choi told INQUIRER.net at the conclusion of the 23rd Miss Earth coronation show held at the Van Phuc City Water Music Square in Ho Chi Minh City on Dec. 22.

With Ziri’s coronation as Miss Earth 2023, she has also become the first-ever major international pageant winner from Albania, a country that has been fielding formidable delegates to various global pageants for years. She was second runner-up in the 2022 Miss Globe pageant.

Choi also believes that the rest of the delegates have carried on the respective legacies of her 2022 sisters. “It kinda made me sad when I saw all the delegates because it reminded me of last year, with all the delegates of my batch. But again, their legacy goes on through their countries’ sashes. I’m so excited to see [the 2023 candidates], it’s like seeing [my batch mates] once again,” she said in an interview before the program started.

“Being Miss Earth has been one of the greatest roles of mine. I formed amazing friendships, made promises that our paths will surely cross again,” the 2022 winner said during her farewell walk. She also shared in an earlier interview that she was “disappointed” that her “elemental sisters” were not around for the final moments of their reign.

The pageant awards “elemental” titles to reign alongside the top winner. For 2022, they were Miss Earth-Air Sheridan Mortlock from Australia, Miss Earth-Water Nadeen Ayoub from Palestine, and Miss Earth-Fire Andrea Aguilera from Colombia. Both Mortlock and Aguilera joined Choi at the grand launch for the 2023 Miss Earth pageant held in Ho Chi Minh City in October.

The 2022 winners were crowned in the Philippines, and all the delegates bonded together through the trips they made across the country. Choi said her fondest memory as the pageant took place during an actual competition last year.

“We went to Zamboanga, and it started raining during our [preliminary] competition. So we had to take all of our heels off and started doing the competition barefoot. That was probably the best part of it,” she shared.

When INQUIRER.net asked where the people may catch her after relinquishing her duties as Miss Earth, she responded: “What’s next for me? That’s a secret.”



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