After Katerina Kouvoutsaki withdrew from the competition "for health concerns," Sofia Arapogianni will represent Greece at Miss Universe 2021.
The Miss Universe 2021 pageant, which will be held in Israel on December 13th, will feature contestants from over 70 nations.
"Sofia Arapogianni has been named the new MISS UNIVERSE GREECE 2021 as of today. Our beauty queen, Katerina Kouvoutsaki, will be unable to represent our nation in the crown of the universe due to health concerns [sic], which prevent her from traveling, and will instead be representing Greece "According to a statement issued by the organization on Friday, the organization
22-year-old Sofia is a student at the Merchant Marine Academy in New York City, and she is fluent in three languages. Grecian beauty pageant contestants previously won the Miss Universe title in 1964.
At the end of October, Rafaela Plastira, the original Miss Universe representative from Greece, was reported to have withdrew from the competition in protest, stating: "I adore all countries around the world, but my heart goes out to all of the people who are fighting for their lives in Israel and Palestinian territories. There is no way I can walk up on that platform and pretend like nothing is happening while people are fighting for their lives on the other side of the world."
The government of South Africa withdrew its support for the Miss South Africa contest on Sunday, as calls for the country to boycott the international competition have become stronger. The decision was made after the organization was unable to persuade the Miss Universe pageant's organizers to boycott the competition.