Birta Abiba Þórhallsdóttir, 19, will represent Iceland in Miss Universe 2019. She is the 45th woman from her country to compete in the international beauty pageant.
On August 31, 2019, Þórhallsdóttir was crowned Miss Universe Iceland 2019 at Hljómahöllin in Reykjanesbær, Iceland. Representing Geysir, she bested 20 other candidates.
In the same event, Garta Birils Egilsdóttir, 23, of Garðabær was crowned Miss Supranational Iceland 2019 while Hulda Vigdísardóttir of Reykjavík was named Queen Beauty Iceland 2019. The respective first and second runners-up were Elísabet Hulda Snorradóttir and Kolfinna Mist Austfjord.
Born in Landspitali University Hospital in Reykjavik on January 9, 1999, Þórhallsdóttir attended Lágafellsskóli in Mosfellsbær and Menntaskólinn við Sund in Reykjavík. She succeeded Miss Universe Iceland 2018 Katrín Lea Elenudóttir, 20, of Reykjavik, who did not place in Miss Universe 2019.
Before the Miss Universe Iceland 2019 coronation night, Þórhallsdóttir was told she could not win the crown because she was not Icelandic. A beauty of mixed race, she has been a victim of racism since she was a kid and has been discriminated against due to her skin color.
But these negative experiences pushed Þórhallsdóttir to better herself and fight on behalf of all the people who are victims of discrimination, especially her fellow biracial kids who are being bullied in school. She has volunteered with the international Red Cross study aid program and it is her dream to help improve the quality of education in impoverished countries.
Iceland has been competing in Miss Universe since 1956. The country was not represented in the international beauty pageant in 1958, 1973, 1987, from 1998 to 2002, from 2004 to 2006 and from 2010 to 2015.
Miss Iceland 2002 Manuela Ósk Harðardóttir, 36, did go to Panama City, Panama for Miss Universe 2003. However, she was not able to compete due to dehydration, which led to her hospitalization.
If Þórhallsdóttir wins Miss Universe 2019, she will be the first ever titleholder of the international beauty pageant from her country. The best performance by a candidate from Iceland in Miss Universe was by Anna Geirsdóttir, who was runner-up to Miss Universe 1962 Marlene Schmidt of Germany.
The last time Germany placed in Miss Universe was in 2009. Ingibjörg Ragnheiður Egilsdóttir of Reykjavik made it to the Top 15 at the he 58th edition of Miss Universe, which was held in n Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau, The Bahamas.
The reigning Miss Universe 2018 is Catriona Gray, 25, of the Philippines. She is the fourth Miss Universe from her country and 67th woman to hold the title.
Meanwhile, here is a clip from Miss Universe Iceland 2019: