The new Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, center, cries after winning at the Miss Universe pageant Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who represented South Africa, won the Miss Universe crown Sunday.
The 22-year-old, who wants to use her reign to champion HIV/AIDS and self-defense causes, was crowned at The AXIS theater at Planet Hollywood casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip.
"HIV/AIDS is a very big problem in my country South Africa, so I hope to stand as an advocate for that," she said before reporters after the event.
Along with the title, Nel-Peters earned a yearlong salary, a luxury apartment in New York City for the duration of her reign and more prizes. She is the second woman from her home country to earn the crown.
The runner-up was Miss Colombia Laura Gonzalez, while the second runner-up was Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett.