My Crowning Moment

I stood on stage grinning ear to ear, squeezing the hands of the girls next to me. I could hear the voices of the hosts and the excited cheers of the crowd and I could see the bright lights and the smiling faces, but my mind was somewhere else.

I wasn’t thinking about winning, but about my week spent with the other contestants. I had made new friends, my sister queen had truly become my sister, and I had grown so much in those few short days. I 
had had the time of my life and I didn’t want it to end, but here we were and it was almost over.

The International Pageant system has always been one that I deeply loved. I admired the national queens for their grace, dignity, and kind hearts. They exemplified the qualities of a true queen in every area of their lives. It was an honor just to be given the chance to compete for the title and we were proud to be the class of 2013. We gave it our all and we left everything on the stage. It was an exhilarating week full of memories that we will never forget, bonds that formed and friendships that grew. The young women I met throughout that week reflected integrity, confidence, leadership, and character. These virtues shown through not only on the stage, but off it as well. The girls that I came to know were kindhearted and genuine and I will miss them terribly.

What I will miss the most is the time spent with these girls. Dancing backstage with Miss Teen Georgia, making silly faces with Miss Teen Illinois, and our bridge (or was it more like a tunnel?) that we all 
ran through backstage laughing before finals. These are the memories that I will always remember, laugh about, and treasure. 

To think it was over and they were about to announce who the new Miss Teen International was seemed crazy to me. All of the preparation that went into this competition and it was over! It didn’t seem real!

We stood in a line with our heads held high and our shaking hands clasped tightly in one another’s. Our hearts were pounding and the butterflies in our stomachs were fluttering. It’s a hard thing to describe, but it was a terrible yet wonderful feeling.

Then he said my name and I almost fell on the floor. I couldn’t believe it. In fact, I still can’t believe it! It’s hard to wrap my head around and I still wake up in the mornings and think “Did this really happen?”

Throughout that night, the question everyone continuously asked me was “How do you feel?” and every time my answer was “I have no words.”

Because in that moment the way I felt was indescribable.


Haley Pontius
Miss Teen International 


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