Ha returns with Korea’s first int’l pageant title
By Han Sang-hee
Ha Hyun-jung, the second runner-up in the 2010 Miss Korea and the first Korean to be crowned with a main title at an international beauty pageant last September, has returned home not only with the title, but also with a huge confidence boost.
The 23-year-old looked happy to be back in Korea, flashing the bright beauty queen-smile throughout the press conference celebrating her return in Seoul, Thursday.
``It’s true that the Miss Tourism Queen International contest is not as well known as other pageants. But it is indeed a major competition with contestants from 75 countries participating. It is particularly meaningful since it is the first time in Miss Korea’s 54-year history for a Korean to win an international event,’’ Lee Sang-seok, vice president of the Hankook Ilbo, sister company of The Korea Times, told reporters.
The press event began with a video clip showing the activities and events that took place at the competition, from the very first outfit that was showcased to a walk down the long, narrow catwalk and the final announcement of the winner.
``I have to say I’m a bit nervous to stand in front of so many cameras since it’s my first time to do so,’’ Ha said.
``It’s been three weeks since the pageant and I can recall the moments I had at the event by watching the screen. I will do my best as a respectable and modest Miss Korea,’’ she added.
Eager to introduce herself to the press and public, Ha presented a slide presentation of her biographical details at the event, introducing her hobbies, photos, journals and even copies of her school report cards.
Ha was also appointed as goodwill ambassador for Hanmaum Blood Bank, something she has always wished for.
``I’m so happy to accept the appointment for such a cause. I will do my best to put my actions forward rather than words,’’ she said.
For the time being, Ha will rest aside her dreams of becoming an actress like Ko Hyun-jeong, whom she said she admires, and carry out her duties as Miss Korea, Miss Tourism Queen International and a goodwill ambassador for the blood bank.
Miss Tourism Queen International was launched in 1993 for the purpose of revamping the tourism industry and advancing international cultural exchanges. The event has been held in China annually for the past seven years.