A new Miss World was crowned on Thursday at a glittering ceremony held in Puerto Rico's capital San Juan.
Poland’s Karolina Bielawska was named Miss World 2021, beating runners up Miss USA Shree Saini, and Ivory Coast's Olivia Yace, who was favourite to win.
The other candidates in the top six were Pricilia Carla Yules from Indonesia, Karolina Vidales from Mexico and Anna Leitch from Northern Ireland.
Who is Miss World 2021 Karolina Bielawska?
Bielawska, 23, started her modelling career at the age of 14, when she placed second in the Elite Model Look competition. In her late teenage years, she signed to several different high profile modelling agencies, and walked in fashion weeks in Poland and around the world.
Away from modelling, Bielawska holds a bachelor’s degree in management, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business.
Bielawska describes herself as an adrenalin junkie, and says travelling is among her biggest passions in life.
“Enjoying the world and its beauty brings me a lot of joy. Discovering new places, meeting new people, and learning about their culture makes my life fuller,” she wrote in a Miss World blog post.
“Hans Christian Andersen said that ‘To travel is to live’ and I completely relate to that. Trying new things, enjoying the wilderness of nature, and learning from people different for me is what makes me feel alive,” she said.
During the pageant, she spoke of her hopes to become a television presenter and actress, describing Australian Oscar-nominated actress Margot Robbie as her dream co-star.
“I heard many times that I look like her, so I would choose her to see if it’s true … it would be amazing to meet and learn from this wonderful actress,” she said.
Bielawska’s charity work has seen her support and volunteer for a number of organisations since she was crowned Miss Poland in 2019, including the Zupa na Pietrynie group, which provides support for homeless people in the country.
Speaking of her work with the project, Bielawska said: “Since I have volunteered, I’ve seen a lot of people suffering from cold, hunger, and poverty. Sometimes when we don’t struggle and experience those things, we assume that those issues are not there.
“This year was a huge lesson on empathy and gratitude for me. Every day I’m grateful for what I have and thanks to empathy, I want to share it with others.”
In being crowned the 70th Miss World, Bielawska made history by becoming only the second Polish beauty queen to win the title.
Following the win, she took to Instagram to share her gratitude. “I still cannot believe I’ve just become the second Miss World in Polish history. I am more than proud to bring that crown to my country.
“I have no words to express how extremely grateful I am for this opportunity and a huge amount of support I’ve received from so many people. I would have never come so far by myself,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I believe that we are all placed here for a purpose and I have never been more excited for fulfilling mine. Thank you God, I give all my glory to you. Always fight for your dreams until the very end, they do come true.”