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Psychology student Aleksandra Chichikova crowned first Miss Wheelchair World

A psychology student from Belarus, Aleksandra Chichikova, has been crowned Miss Wheelchair World in the first-ever edition of the beauty pageant held in Warsaw, Poland on Saturday.

“Fight your anxiety and your fears,” the 23-year-old Chichikova said at a gala evening, after the contestants had presented themselves in national costumes and evening dresses in elaborate choreographies.

Lebohang Monyatsi from South Africa was the runner-up ahead of Poland’s Adrianna Zawadzinska in the first contest of its kind on a global scale, which brought together 24 young women from 19 countries.

The goal of the contest was to “change the image of women in wheelchairs so they would not be judged solely by this attribute,” contest co-founder and jury president Katarzyna Wojtaszek-Ginalska told AFP.

Miss Belarus Aleksandra Chichikova greets the audience after she was crowned Miss Wheelchair World.

The pageant organised by the Poland-based Only One Foundation also seeks to show that a wheelchair is a luxury in many parts of the world, she added.

The contestants were chosen either in national rounds or, in countries with no such pageants, by non-governmental organisations addressed by the Polish foundation.

“It is not the looks that matter the most,” said Wojtaszek-Ginalska, who is also confined to a wheelchair.

“Of course, a good look counts but we have focused especially on the personality of the girls, their everyday activities, their involvement, social life, plans,” she added.

Miss Belarus Aleksandra Chichikova greets the audience.

The contestants spent eight days in the Polish capital, busy with rehearsals, photo sessions, conferences and visits.

The inaugural Miss Wheelchair World attracted contestants from Angola, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Guatemala, India, Italy, Mexico, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine and the United States.

www.sapiecha.com

www.worldfairs.org

Henry Sapiecha

Woman runs whole London Marathon without tampon

Kiran Gandhi, a Harvard Business School Graduate and professional drummer, pictured right image www.goodgirlsgo.com

A WOMAN who ran the entire London Marathon without wearing a tampon has described how she did so to show that the “stigma of a woman’s period is irrelevant”.

Kiran Gandhi, a Harvard Business School Graduate and professional drummer who has played alongside M.I.A and Thievery Corporation, wrote about the experience on her website under the headline “Sisterhood, blood and boobs at the London Marathon 2015”.

Gandhi ran the event for Breast Cancer Care and, along with “two of the most important women in my life”, collectively raised $6,000 for charity.

“The marathon for me was about family and feminism,” she said – the latter being because she “ran the whole marathon with period blood running down [her] legs”.

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Henry Sapiecha