New Jersey (PTI):
Unfazed by racial slurs hurled at her, the newly crowned Miss America of Indian origin, Nina Davuluri, took a traditional dip in Atlantic City waters.
“I’m just really so honoured,” the 24-year-old said during a live video appearance on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America yesterday, right before she dipped her toes into the Atlantic City waters for waiting photographers.
“I always viewed myself as first and foremost American,” said Nina, reacting to racial taunts in various social media in the aftermath of her victory.
“Welcome home, Miss America!” she said, standing barefoot in the shallow surf, wearing a lime green Miss America T-shirt and white shorts.
The dark-haired beauty, a native of Syracuse in New York, said she had teared up the night before during her high-energy performance of a Bollywood dance during the talent portion of the competition, the New York Daily News reported.
“Halfway through I just started crying. It was such an incredible experience knowing my friends and family were watching. It was so meaningful and powerful,” she said.
She, however, faced racial abuse as detractors lit up Twitter and other social media right after she was crowned Miss America, but Nina said she wasn’t fazed by the criticism of her Indian heritage.
Nina, who wants to be a doctor like her father, will tomorrow meet former Miss America Vanessa Williams, the first black woman to win the pageant.