During the 71st annual Miss Universe competition, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy presented Miss Universe Ukraine Viktoriia Apanasenko with the “Spirit of Carnival” award for embodying the company’s values of fun, friendship, diversity and inclusion, according to a statement.
The “Spirit of Carnival” award presentation was featured during the Miss Universe competition, held in New Orleans and broadcast internationally on Saturday, Jan.14, the company said.
“Viktoriia Apanasenko has made it her mission to remind us that the war is ongoing and people across Ukraine are working to support their military, as well as their neighbors affected by the war – especially those displaced from their homes,” said Duffy. “I’m impressed by Viktoriia’s strength and her kind and giving character which truly embodies the ‘Spirit of Carnival.’ And through this recognition, we are also letting the people of Ukraine and especially our Ukrainian crew members know that we continue to support and admire their spirit as well.”
Apanasenko serves as a Peace Ambassador of the UN Global Compact Ukraine. She graduated from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv with a master’s degree in social work and has focused on domestic violence. Overcoming bullying during her school years inspired her to work with mental health causes. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, she has worked to provide food, medicine and hygiene products to Ukrainian families. She also intends to bring awareness to the importance of gender equality in the military through her work with The Female Quotient, an organization founded to advance gender equality in the workplace.
This is the third time a Miss Universe delegate received the “Spirit of Carnival” award. Last year, Miss Universe Bahamas Chantel O’Brian was selected for the award. During the 2021 competition, Miss Universe Dominican Republic Kimberly Jiménez received the award and was also named the Godmother of the new Carnival Mardi Gras.