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‘Shocked’ Richmond High grad wins Miss Chinese Vancouver pageant
Richmond’s Gloria Tang has earned herself a place in pageant royalty.
Strutting across a Vancouver Convention Centre stage Wednesday night, the 20-year-old University of B.C. marketing student won the hearts of an audience and panel of judges, earning her the Miss Chinese Vancouver 2012 pageant crown.
“It really felt like I was dreaming. That moment they announced my name I was really shocked,” said Tang, a Richmond High grad, following the three-hour event. “I felt like I was about to cry.”
Born in Hong Kong, Tang arrived in Richmond as a young girl and tuned in each year to the local pageant. She dreamed of making it on the stage one day. This year, with a less intensive school schedule, Tang decided to give it a shot.
Fairchild Television organized the pageant, which featured 10 finalists—eight of whom were born in China or Hong Kong.
Tang spent the last three months training in the beauty queen arts. She put her best foot forward Wednesday, dancing, answering Canadian culture questions and showing off in everything from a red-and-white bikini to a cheongsam—a traditional Chinese dress.
The experience allowed her to see what goes into such a production while bringing her close to the other contestants.
“I really felt like I had nine extra sisters during this competition,” she said.
As winner, Tang will now compete in the Miss Chinese International pageant in Hong Kong next year.
“I’m really excited for that,” she said. “In the coming weeks I’ll continue to keep fit and be in the best shape for Miss International.”
Another Richmond resident made the podium Wednesday. Veronica Shiu, 22, earned the title of first runner-up.
Shiu decided to try out after recently experiencing the stage in Hong Kong, where she performed in a Michael Jackson musical tribute.
“That’s what gave me the confidence to come into this competition,” said Shiu, a fourth-year psychology student at Simon Fraser University.
Happy with her performance Wednesday, Shiu said the greatest experience the pageant awarded her was friendship.
“We saw each other every day as 10 girls and our friendship really built up.”