Miss Norway 2018 crowned in tight competition

This year’s Miss Norway has been crowned.

Liv Gerda Halvorsen won the title of 2018’s Miss Norway of Greater New York after facing fierce competition during the March 24 contest, held at the Norwegian Christian Home and Health Center, 1250 67th Street, which featured seven talented young women vying for the top honor.

“I think it went very well,” said Lars Nilsen, co-chair of the Norwegian Immigration Association (NIA), which oversees the competition. For the 63rd year running, the contest judged the women who entered on qualities like poise, leadership and connection and commitment to their Norwegian heritages.

The second place winner, Eva Sibinga, took the crown of Miss Heritage.

Nilsen explained the winner was not crowned easily. “[The judges] had a difficult time,” he told this paper. “All of the contestants presented themselves very well. The judges had a tough time deciding.”

The judges for the competition this year were Anja-Christin Nielsen, the director of culture at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in New York City; Brian Andersson, the former commissioner of the New York City Department of Records; Diana Roggemann, executive director of the China-U.S. SkyClub and Miss Norway 1994; Lene Samuelsen, Miss Norway 2016; and David Thorsen, the president of Danish Athletic Properties.

“It’s not a beauty contest. These are seven young women who pride themselves in their heritage,” Nilsen said. Though the Norwegian population has spread out and is not as highly concentrated in Brooklyn as it used to be, he said, the competition is still an honored tradition in the community.

While contestants hailed from across the greater New York area, including Long Island and New Jersey, one contestant, Jenna Mindrebo, is a current student at Fort Hamilton High School.

“We’re very proud of the NIA, we’re very proud that the NIA sponsors this contest, and we’re proud of the young women who competed, especially the winners. And we’re proud of the neighborhood,” Nilsen said.

While the contestants may be generations away from their Norwegian ancestors who immigrated to the United States, Nilsen is also proud of their commitment to their heritage. “[There’s] less of an immediate connection, but the spirit is there.”

As this year’s Miss Norway, Halvorsen will receive an honored spot in the upcoming Norwegian Constitution Day Parade in Bay Ridge on May 20, as well as a round-trip ticket to Norway to help her connect more with her heritage.

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