Miss America cheers pageant diversity, cancels visit to boardwalk

Miss New York Nina Davuluri, center, reacts after being named Miss America 2014 pageant as Miss California Crystal Lee, left, and Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan celebrate with her, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The new Miss America says she's delighted the pageant embraces diversity.

Nina Davuluri became the first contestant of Indian heritage and the second consecutive contestant from New York to win the Miss America pageant Sunday night.

The 24-year-old Davuluri won the title as the nationally televised pageant returned home to Atlantic City.

In a press conference after winning the title, the Syracuse native who wants to become a doctor said she's glad children watching the pageant "can finally relate to a new Miss America."

Davuluri performed a classical Bollywood fusion dance for her talent competition.

Her visit to the scene of New Jersey's devastating boardwalk fire will have to wait. The Miss America Organization told The Associated Press Sunday night she would head to Seaside Park and Seaside Heights Monday afternoon to support the reconstruction efforts.

But hours later, they canceled the visit after learning that Gov. Chris Christie was making cabinet officials available to business owners victimized by the fire at the same time Davuluri planned to visit.

She'll go sometime in the future.

More than four blocks of the iconic boardwalk were destroyed by a raging wind-whipped fire on Thursday.

Associated Press
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