The impact of Cheslie Kryst, the former beauty queen who committed herself in January, was felt throughout the 2022 competition. She was in her thirties.
On Monday night, the Grand Sierra Resort and Spa in Reno, Nevada, hosted the coronation of a new Miss USA, just as it had done three years before with Cheslie Kryst.
Prior to this report’s publication, Crystle Stewart, Miss USA 2008 and the current head of the Miss USA organization, had informed E! News that Reno was selected for this year’s pageant in memory of Kryst.
A dedication to Cheslie Kryst was shown at the beginning of the pageant, and later in the evening, FYI contributor Christian Murphy spoke about Kryst’s influence in the pageant industry.
Cheslie Kryst was honored at the 2022 Miss USA pageant
A person who can “light up a room,” “make every moment appear better,” and “make you feel significant with a single gesture or a word” is a rare find, as Murphy put it. Cheslie Kryst spoke in that.
Murphy said, “I had the pleasure of working with her, and her achievements were simply boundless.” “Miss USA 2019 is Cheslie. Family members have said that throughout her life, from her time as a social justice attorney to her time as Miss USA to her time as a presenter on Extra, she always put the needs of others above her own. The most significant roles are those of daughter, sister, friend, mentor, and coworker.”
He said, “Tonight, we commemorate Cheslie because we know her impact will endure.” We were privileged to have her even for a little time, and we are luckier than her brilliance endures.
The live crowd at the pageant became silent as Murphy finished speaking.
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Kryst, who competed for North Carolina at the 2019 Miss USA pageant and ultimately won, joined a legendary foursome. She was the first person of color to win the title of Miss Universe, and her year also saw the first-ever black women win the titles of Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss America.
She told Insider at the time, “I simply believe this is an important moment.” Perhaps this motivation can be used elsewhere in people’s lives, as well.
Cheslie Kryst also made headlines for being the oldest woman to win Miss USA. At Miss Universe that year, she placed in the top ten.
At the time of her death, Kryst was a host on the show Extra. She also worked as a complicated litigation attorney for free, representing inmates with lengthy terms for minor drug charges.
Aside from spending years soliciting money for charities like Dress for Success and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, she also helped release a client who had been given a life sentence.
Cheslie Kryst’s mom April Simpkins stated her daughter “had high-functioning depression and disguised it from everyone” “till very soon before her death.”
Simpkins said that Kryst had been “blindsided” by internet abuse when she won Miss USA during an appearance on “Red Table Talk.”
By telling more of Kryst’s tale, Simpkins aims to “urge others to be nicer,” she added.
She lamented, “People aren’t sympathetic to folks who have mental issues occasionally.” And Cheslie was well aware of it.