Updated at 11:07,12-12-2017

Belarusian Student Wins Miss Wheelchair World Award

RFE/RL based on reporting by AP and AFP

Belarusian Student Wins Miss Wheelchair World Award
Alyaksandra Chychykava is Miss Wheelchair World 2017
Belarusian student Alyaksandra Chychykava was chosen as Miss Wheelchair World in the first-ever international edition of the pageant held in Warsaw.

The October 7 event was organized by the Only One Foundation with a goal to "change the image of women in wheelchairs so they would not be judged solely by this attribute," contest co-founder and jury president Katarzyna Wojtaszek-Ginalska said.

"It is not the looks that matter the most," said Wojtaszek-Ginalska, who is confined to a wheelchair. "Of course, a good look counts, but we have focused especially on the personality of the girls, their everyday activities, their involvement, social life, plans."

The pageant had been held four times previously as Miss Poland Wheelchair before going international for this edition. The event featured 24 women from 19 countries.

The countries involved were Angola, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Guatemala, India, Italy, Mexico, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, and the United States.