Miss USA Lindsey Coffey was crowned Miss Earth 2020 during the 20th anniversary edition of the pageant Sunday morning, held virtually for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She is also the first American representative to win the title.
The rest of the winners are the Philippines’ Roxanne Baeyens who was named Miss Earth Water, Denmark’s Michala Rubinstein as Miss Earth Fire and Venezuela’s Stephany Zreik as Miss Earth Air.
When she was announced as the winner, Coffey appeared to have not taken it seriously at first, asking the host: “Wait, are we kidding or what? Is this for a reaction, seriously though?”
When told that it wasn’t a joke, she became emotional as she expressed her shock over “one of the biggest surprises in my life”. She also admitted to past doubts if she was deserving of a title, especially as she was very new to the pageant scene.
In an Instagram post, Coffey wrote about her “life-changing moment”, promising to become a voice “to inspire and make a difference”.
“Tonight was life changing. We made history as the first USA representative to earn the Miss Earth crown. I joined the Miss Earth sisterhood to become a voice, to inspire, and to make a difference in our world. Now is that opportunity.
“As now is the time for action. Now is the time to be more than your country. We are not just citizens of our nation. We are citizens of the world, and once we start to view one another as such we will always find success. As your Miss Earth, that is the legacy I will leave behind me.
“Miss Earth is justice. Miss Earth is hope. Miss Earth is life.
“Thank you to my Miss Earth USA team for guiding and supporting me. Thank you to our sponsors. Thank you to everyone who believed I was meant to do this and thank you to Carousel Productions for giving me the opportunity to stand for something much bigger than myself.”
She also congratulated her court for being “strong, intelligent women representing their respective countries.”
Coffey, according to the Miss Earth USA website, is a political science graduate who is passionate about “law, animal rights, mental health, ethics and morality, and environmental protection.”
Meanwhile, the country’s bet Roxanne of Baguio City said she was grateful for the experience and thanked her supporters during the coronation event.
“I’m just so grateful for the entire experience and of course, to the Miss Earth organization for making us find power in our voices, to continue our advocacy journey during these trying times. I can’t wait for me and my eco-sisters to have an amazing reign. Thank you for the love, and always send love for Mother Earth.”