On Dec. 19, the Miss Universe pageant crowned its 2012 winner: and
Olivia Culpo, Miss USA, took home the coveted crown. Culpo, who is
rumored to be dating Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, takes over for 2011
winner Leila Lopes of Angola.
The 20-year-old Boston University
student and cellist put her studies on hold to perform the duties
involved in being Miss USA. She’d only been participating in pageants
for a year when she was crowned Miss USA, after having been Miss Rhode
Raised in Edgewood, Rhode Island, Culpo comes from a
family of musicians, and has four siblings.
She’s a relatively
controversial contestant. Miss Pennsylvania, Sheena Monin, quit the Miss
Universe organization last year after Culpo won, first citing the
organization’s policy regarding transgendered contestants (who are
allowed to participate) and later claiming she quit because she felt
that Culpo’s win was rigged.