Monday, October 1, 2018

Bridget Oei Talks Miss America: A Guest Series (Part 1 - The Final Countdown)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to compete at Miss America? I know I have. Miss Connecticut Bridget Oei has graciously agreed to help us all try and figure that out. She will be writing a series of guest blogs chronicling her time at Miss America that I am honored to be able to present here.

Today we have our first entry as Bridget shares what she was thinking and feeling while standing onstage at Miss America as the top five counted down. I hope you enjoy it!

Have you ever been in a situation where you knew you should probably be feeling some sort of way...but you weren’t? There I was standing hand in hand with the top five, in front of 4 million viewers across the country and a full audience in boardwalk hall, about to find out who the new Miss America would be, and if it was me. I should have been nervous, my heart should have been pounding. But I was calm, so very calm.

My demeanor did not change even as they called the fourth, third, and second runner up. The four other women that I stood with filled me with so much pride. From the moment I met them in Orlando, I was impressed. On paper they define the words success, leader, and trailblazer. I remember thinking as we stood together before they announced the results, “Wow, we made it.” I was genuinely humbled to be standing exactly where I was, among these women, on a stage that is truly a once in a lifetime experience. And all the while, I was representing my home, Connecticut.

I’ll never forget the moment when it was just myself and Nia standing center stage and I turned and grabbed her hands. I did so out of routine because I had been in the same situation before back in June at Miss Connecticut. Yet once I turned I saw Nia right in front of me, I also saw the other state titleholders all holding hands, anxious to find out who their new Miss America would be. After two weeks spent with these women, I had grown to love each of them and what we all represented. That is when I looked at Nia and began telling her that no matter what, I would support her throughout her year, that I would be her number one fan, always. I wanted her to know that if she was crowned Miss America, I would be there for her unconditionally.

If you watch the live telecast, you see me look out into the audience right as they call my name as first runner up. That was a moment when I felt so much clarity. No, I had no idea if I was going to win or be called. But in that moment I remembered exactly why and how I was standing in the position I was in. When I looked up, I was looking at my parents, who were sitting about halfway back in the audience. I was calm because they were there, and I was overjoyed to have made them proud. I was proud to have danced my very best, showcasing my talent for my culture and my dance teacher Dr. Colleen Griffith. I was proud to have spoken with conviction and consistency, showcasing the hard work and skills I had refined with my Miss Connecticut prep team. I was proud to have represented Connecticut: my home, my village, my heart.

It didn’t matter what the result was. You can see in my face when I was announced 1st runner up that I was just so overjoyed to be where I was. I had made history, I had done it for Connecticut.

Some moments are just so wonderful, that they exceed your wildest dreams.

With Love,

Bridget Oei

No comments:

Post a Comment