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More about Miss USA 2004
www.chinaview.cn 2004-04-14 14:33:46

Shandi Finnessey was crowned Miss Missouri in 2002.(Photo: www.missamerica.org)

Shandi Finnessey

Miss Metro St. Louis 2002
Miss Missouri 2002

(Photo:  www.missmetrostlouis.org)

(Click for larger view!)

Shandi Finnessey was crowned Miss Missouri 2002.(Photo:  www.missmissouri.org)

(Click for larger view!)

Miss Missouri 2001 Jennifer Hover crowns
Shandi Finnessey as the Miss Missouri 2002. (Photo: www.missmissouri.org )

(Click for larger view!)

The first "official photo".(Photo: www.missmissouri.org )

(Click for larger view!)

Miss Missouri 2002. (Photo:  www.missmissouri.org )

Presence and Poise in Evening Wear in Competition of Miss America 2002.
(Photo:
http://www.missamerica.org/ )

Shandi Finnessey of Missouri poses in a swimsuit during the Miss USA 2004 competition at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California April 12, 2004. (Photo: Xinhua/Reuters)

Miss Missouri Shandi Finnessey was crowned Miss USA 2004 in the 53rd annual pageant here on Monday. (Photo: Dayoo.com)

Shandi Finnessey from Missouri reacts after she wins the title of Miss USA 2004 in the 53rd Annual Miss USA competition at the Kodak Theatre, April 12, 2004, in Los Angeles.(Photo: Xinhua/Reuters)

Shandi Finnessey from Missouri reacts after she wins the title of Miss USA 2004 in the 53rd Annual Miss USA competition at the Kodak Theatre, April 12, 2004, in Los Angeles.(Photo: Xinhua/Reuters)

Shandi Finnessey from Missouri reacts after she wins the title of Miss USA 2004 in the 53rd Annual Miss USA competition at the Kodak Theatre, April 12, 2004, in Los Angeles.(Photo: Xinhua/Reuters)

    LOS ANGELES, April 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Miss Missouri Shandi Finnessey was crowned Miss USA 2004 in the 53rd annual pageant here on Monday.

    Finnessey, a 1.77-meter, blue-eyed blonde, won the honor after defeating four other finalists chosen from 50 contestants.

    She was crowned by last year's winner and former Miss Massachusetts Susie Castillo and will represent the United States at the Miss Universe pageant on June 1 in Quito, Ecuador.

    Amanda Helen Pennekamp, Miss South Carolina, was first runner-up, and Ashley Rachel Puleo, Miss North Carolina, was second runner-up.

    Finnessey, 25, wrote a children's book entitled "The Furrtails"as part of her aim to integrate mentally retarded children into regular classrooms.

    She holds a master's degree in counseling from Lindenwood University, and also likes playing piano and violin.

    When asked whether experience or education serves her better inlife, Finnessey chose the former.

    "You can have all the book knowledge in the world, but to have the knowledge from experience ... I think that teaches you more knowledge than anything you could possibly read in a book," she said.

    The winner's prize package includes a 200,000-dollar crown, a New York City apartment for a year, extensive travel opportunities,a yearlong salary, and a two-year scholarship worth 45,000 US dollars to The School for Film and Television in New York.

    This was the second year that the Miss USA pageant was aired onNBC. The network, a unit of General Electric Co., co-owns the pageant with Donald Trump, a New York property developer. Enditem

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