The Philippines’ Catriona Gray was named Miss Universe 2018 Monday in Bangkok, Thailand, beating contestants from 93 other countries.
To celebrate and honor this victory, we’ve listed five things that you should know about Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2018.
Seven things to know about Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2018
1. She’s the fourth Philippine to become Miss Universe
Gray is the fourth Philippine to win the glorious title after Gloria Diaz (Miss Universe 1969), Margie Moran (Miss Universe 1973), and Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe 2015).
2. She’s half-Scottish and half-Filipino
Photo: Miss World Philippines FB
Gray is both half-Scottish and half-Filipino. Her father Ian Gray is Scottish and her mother Normita Magnayon is Filipino.
During the pageant, she said that she’s “very very close to her parents, especially her father” and that she always misses them while traveling.
She was born in Cairns, Australia, and moved to the Philippines when she was 18, according to Newsweek. Before she moved she modeled frequently in Australia so she, later on, could use the money she earned to buy a plane ticket to the Philippines and begin her career there.
3. She attended college in the U.S.
Gray attended school at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where she received a master’s certificate in music theory. She’s a very talented singer and was the lead singer of her school’s jazz band and has been starred in local productions of a musical called Miss Saigon.
According to the Miss Universe website, she “is known to spontaneously burst into song.”
At the Miss Universe pageant, she got the question “If you were going to write a song about your experience here at Miss Universe, what would you call it?”
“As Miss Philippines, I’ve always felt the love and support of the Filipino people and I think I brought half of my country here tonight,” she responded.
“I would name the song ‘Raise Your Flag’ because I stand here not as one but as 104 million Filipinos!”
4. She’s dedicated to ending poverty and is an HIV/AIDS awareness advocate
Gray is very passionate about finding ways to end poverty in the Philippines. She has her own project called Paraiso, The Bright Beginnings Project, that is raising money for a preschool aiming at ending poverty, especially among children.
Besides her ambitious work with her own project, she’s also an HIV/AIDS awareness advocate at Love Yourself PH, a community of volunteers’ in the Philippines that provide HIV screening, education, and support.
5. She’s a really good painter
Okay so our #MissUniverse Catriona Gray is actually really skilled in traditional drawing. Wow. Seriously what can’t she do? What a very talented and well-rounded queen you are @catrionaelisa ? pic.twitter.com/o9FdDYjDp5
— Isko (@iskolarspeaks) December 17, 2018
Gray is definitely a multi-talent! She can do model, dance and she can even paint.
She is very good at traditional painting and focuses most on painting faces, hands but also flowers and animals.
To collect money to her charity project, she sells her paintings online.
6. She has a signature runway move
As a successful model, Gray is well known for her strong runaway walk.
She has a signature twirl on the runaway, also known as the “slow-mo twirl.” It became a viral moment during the swimsuit portion of the Miss Universe Pageant when she did a slow-mo turn in the middle of her walk.
Gray, later on, told CBS News that she was surprised with how impactful her “slow-mo twirl” turned out to be and that while the pivot was practiced and intentional, she did not expect that it would result as well as it did to the point of going viral.
7. She’s a strong kicker
Gray proved she’s tough enough to beat contestants in the pageant world, but who knew she could beat her competition in the martial arts world, too?
She started training Choi Kwang Do, a form of Karate, when she was eight and earned her black belt when she was only 12 years old. Impressive!
During the pageant, she said that she likes how her karate skills help her know “what to do in situations where someone’s coming at you or how to block and get out of someone’s way.”
Congratulations Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2018.