Local teen proud to compete
For Sonja Olsson, 18, being selected as a provincial representative in the 2013 Miss Teen Canada-World competition became “real” on Friday when her white satin sash arrived in the mail.
“Once I got my sash, it felt so real,” Olsson told the Free Press Tuesday. It all came as a complete surprise, she said.
“It’s not like I had any modeling or posing experience or anything – but for lots of girls in the provincials, this was their first time doing anything like this too.”
Olsson came back from Toronto two weeks ago after the preliminary judging was over and she’s been waiting anxiously for her sash to arrive. Her tiara – and the sash with its title “Miss Teen Northern British Columbia” – are just symbols though. The real work, all the fundraising, getting out and meeting people, and “proving herself worthy” of the title Miss Teen Canada-World still lies ahead, she says.
The winner of the national competition will be crowned in Toronto in July.
“We will be there for eight days, sightseeing, doing rehearsals, going for interviews and taking part in photo ops at places like Much Music and the CN Tower.”
In the meantime, Olsson has to raise $400 for a charity called Free the Children and she’s busy trying to find local businesses to sponsor her in the pageant. A recent visit to her dentist brought her her first sponsor, she said, showing off her winning smile.
Currently enrolled in general studies, the CNC student hopes her experience with the Miss Teen Canada pageant will broaden her horizons in the future.
“We had to do an interview on Skype. I was surprised when the director of the competition notified me in October that I’d been selected. I flew to Toronto Friday (Feb. 8) for orientation. The next day, Saturday, we had dress and group dance rehearsals for the first part of the show.“
Olsson was among 23 other girls being “taught how to stand, walk, sit, and do interviews.” It was like a “big sisterhood,” she said of fast friendships made with other contestants. Saturday night, they held preliminary judging for swimsuit and interview.
“At the provincials, they were trying to find out who would be a good candidate for their own province. We received scores Saturday but we didn’t know [the result] until Sunday night.”
That’s when Olsson found out she’d been chosen to represent northern B.C.
“I was elated,” she said. “I was at the back when I heard, so I had to walk up to the front and when I got there, the director had a big smile on her face.”
The term ‘pageant’ doesn’t offend her, she says, as long as people know what the goals are of the Miss Teen Canada competition.
“This is different from other pageants where you’re only judged on your looks. In this competition, you are judged on things like overall personality, how you are promoting a healthy lifestyle and caring about other people.”
Olsson’s platform is to “promote awareness of poverty” in Canada.
“We have the resources here to put an end to this problem [poverty].”
You can follow Olsson’s journey with the 2013 Miss Teen Canada World pageant on her Twitter account or search for her on Facebook. For more information about the pageant visit www.MissTeenCanadaWorld.com.