Well, here we are. It’s time for the 2017 Miss Universe pageant, which is as good a time as any to catch up with last year's winner. So, what is Miss Universe 2016 doing? Check out some of what winner Iris Mittenaere has been busy with.
Last year, Mittenaere, from France, took home the Miss Universe crown and her life changed forever. According to her bio on the Miss Universe website:
On January 29, Iris Mittenaere became the 65th Miss Universe and only the second woman from France to hold the title, bringing the crown home 64 years after her predecessor. The youngest of three children, Iris was encouraged by her mother, a former teacher, to prioritize education. Iris was one of only 90 students accepted into her university’s dental program, and today the 24-year-old med student is in her fifth year of a dental surgery fellowship, where she is studying to become an oral surgeon. Iris is committed to raising awareness of the health issues that neglecting dental care can lead to, including respiratory infections and cardiovascular disease.
The bio continues:
As Miss Universe France, Iris dedicated her time to visiting children at Bienvenue-Tongasoa, an orphanage that she will continue supporting throughout her Miss Universe reign. Iris is also working with Smile Train, a global organization that provides cleft repair surgeries for children in underdeveloped countries. The surgeries can take as little as 45 minutes and the impact is life-changing. Iris is an avid traveler who enjoys the outdoors and extreme sports such as sky diving, paragliding and bungee jumping. Just this past summer, Iris rode in the Tour de France and competed in Ninja Warrior France. Iris recently moved to New York City sight unseen, and as a self-proclaimed foodie is looking forward to experiencing all the cultures and cuisines it has to offer.
Mittenaere has had a lot going on since she was crowned Miss Universe — most recently, she met with this year's Miss Universe contestants and accompanied them to the pre-finale events in Las Vegas.
Mittenaere recently attended the Miss Universe India competition, where she was a member of the jury. She told Egypt Today: “Out of my love for Egypt, I came here in support of the new Miss Egyptian Universe."
She also attended Miss Diva 2017 in India and even took in some of the sights and culture, including visiting the Taj Mahal and learning a Bollywood dance. She also met Miss Universe 2000, Lara Dutta, who attended the event.
After winning the Miss Universe crown in 2016, Mittenaere said during her first interview:
I want to do a lot of things for my charity and for a lot of charities. I think Pia showed us that this sash is not only a sash. This is something to help people, to understand people and I want to understand people. I want to meet people all around the world.
Mittenaere told Hollywood Life earlier this year about her involvement with Smile Train, explaining:
This year I’m going to work with another organization, which is Smile Train. It’s an organization that raises money and uses dental surgery for children who have cleft palates, so it’s very interesting and it’s one of my passions. I’m very excited to go to a lot of countries to do that. You can change the lives of these children. When you see the before and after, you understand everything and why we want to do this.
In May, she traveled to Haiti with the organization.
The 2017 Miss Universe pageant airs Nov. 26 on FOX.
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