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26-year-old hopes to be first woman with Down syndrome in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Mikayla Holmgren has already made history, and she’s hoping to do it again.

The 26-year-old became the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in a Miss USA pageant in 2017 when she entered Minnesota’s competition. But Holmgren is now hoping to cross another barrier by becoming the first model with Down syndrome to be featured in the Sports Illustration Swimsuit Issue.

Holmgren hopes to be an inspiration for many people who have her condition. About one in every 700 people in the U.S. are born with Down syndrome, which occurs when an individual is born with an extra copy of chromosome 21, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 6,000 babies in the U.S. are born with the chromosomal condition each year.

“We tell all our people who have special needs or Down syndrome, go ahead and do it,” she told Gretchen Carlson in Friday’s episode of PEOPLE (the TV Show!). “Just follow your dreams and then do things.”

Holmgren recently submitted her audition tape to Sports Illustrated and is waiting to hear back — but she isn’t nervous about the answer.

“I just wait and see,” she says, “and fingers crossed.” Click here to read more.

Source: People Online

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