Miss USA contestant hopes to be the first model with Down syndrome to feature in Sports Illustrated.
By participating in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, Mikayla Holmgren has already made history.
Mikayla Holmgren has made history before and hopes to do so again.
When she entered Minnesota's competition in 2017, the 26-year-old became the first woman with Down syndrome to participate in a Miss USA pageant. Holmgren, on the other hand, is attempting to break yet another barrier by being the first female model with Down syndrome to appear in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
Holmgren aspires to be an inspiration to those who suffer from her illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of every 700 individuals in the United States were born with Down syndrome, which is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21. Each year, about 6,000 babies in the United States are born with the chromosomal disorder.
In Friday's episode of PEOPLE (the TV Show! ), Holmgren tells Gretchen Carlson, "We tell all our people with special needs or Down syndrome, go ahead and do it." "What you have to do is pursue your dreams and then do stuff."
Holmgren recently sent her audition tape to Sports Illustrated and is awaiting a response, but she is unconcerned.
"I'll just have to wait and see," she says, crossing her fingers.
Holmgren says she will continue to spread her message of inclusion whether she makes it or not.
"All you have to do is raise awareness and be more inclusive," she says. "Simply spread the word. Is it important to be inclusive? It's always from the inside out. It's all about fulfilling your goals and enjoying it."