Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza

Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza
== Miss Universe 2006 == Zuleyka Rivera represented Puerto Rico in the Miss Universe 2006 pageant which was televised live internationally from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on July 23, 2006. After competing in swimsuit, evening gown and interview, she was crowned Miss Universe by outgoing titleholder Natalie Glebova of Canada.

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Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza Miss Universe 2006

Zuleyka Rivera represented Puerto Rico in the Miss Universe 2006 pageant which was televised live internationally from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on July 23, 2006. After competing in swimsuit, evening gown and interview, she was crowned Miss Universe by outgoing titleholder Natalie Glebova of Canada.

Later that evening, Rivera fainted briefly during a press appearance. The incident was reportedly attributed to heat exhaustion (from the stage lights) coupled with the weight of the heavy, chained dress she was wearing.[1]

Rivera was the fifth Puerto Rican to win the title, which makes the island, along with Venezuela(2008) the second most successful entity in the pageant (behind the United States). Prior to Rivera's win, Puerto Rico had been tied with Venezuela, with each having won the pageant four times. Rivera was the third consecutive delegate from Puerto Rico to make the top five at Miss Universe, after Alba Reyes placed second runner-up at Miss Universe 2004 and Cynthia Olavarría was first runner-up at Miss Universe 2005.

Rivera's win came only five years after Denise Quiñones, the most recent winner from Puerto Rico, won the crown. As Miss Universe, Rivera represents the Miss Universe Organization, both in the United States and internationally. She was based in New York City, where she shared an apartment with Tara Conner, Miss USA and Katie Blair, Miss Teen USA 2006.

At the Miss Universe 2007 pageant she passed her crown to Riyo Mori of Japan in Mexico City, Mexico on May 28, 2007 before a predicted audience of 1 billion viewers[2].

Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza A Year in the life as Miss Universe

After being crowned on July 23, 2006 in Los Angeles, Zuleyka was interviewed by many news teams in Los Angeles and when she arrived at her new home in New York.

From the end of July until early August, Zuleyka traveled to Japan where she presented the Five Star Diamond Award to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Tokyo. She also participated in a photo shoot with Kurara Chibana, Miss Universe Japan (and first runner-up), and Zuleyka also visited Mikimoto, the creators of her dazzling crown. In late August, Zuleyka traveled to Indonesia where she attended the opening of a new spa, met with the Minister of Culture, and attended the Miss Indonesia Universe pageant where Agni Pratistha was crowned. While in Indonesia, Zuleyka also visited Bali. On September 4, 2006, Zuleyka returned to her home, Puerto Rico for an official homecoming celebration and parade. The following day, Zuleyka returned to her hometown of Salinas.

As of April 2007, Zuleyka has traveled to the Czech Republic, Russia, Turkey, France, Greece, Kazakhstan, India, Thailand, and Brazil, in addition to Japan, Indonesia, and Puerto Rico.

On April 1, 2007, Rivera appeared at Wrestlemania 23 along with Miss USA 2007 Rachel Smith and Miss Teen USA 2006 Katie Blair, supporting Donald Trump in the Battle of the Billionaires match against Vince McMahon.

She passed on her crown at the Miss Universe 2007 pageant to Japan's Riyo Mori, which was held in Mexico City, Mexico on May 28, 2007.

Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza Family and Personal Life

Prior to winning the Miss Puerto Rico title she won the local pageant for her hometown of Salinas. She had also placed as the first runner-up in the Miss Teen Puerto Rico pageant. Only eighteen years of age when she was crowned Miss Universe, Rivera is one of the youngest women to win the title. She is also the first winner from Puerto Rico to have noticeable mixed heritage features, as her four predecessors (Marisol Malaret, Deborah Carthy-Deu, Dayanara Torres, and Denise Quiñones) all have distinctly European features. She's dating the former Manhunt International winner Jaime Augusto Mayol [1], who is 7 years older than she is. She and Jaime won their respectives international titles in the same year, 2006.

On July 23, 2006 the world welcomed yet another beauty queen in Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California: Zuleyka Jerris Rivera Mendoza, the beauty queen who has held the titles Miss Puerto Rico Universe and Miss Universe 2006.

Two features make Rivera different and unique from the earlier winners. She is one of the youngest women to win the title, just eighteen years old when she was crowned Miss Universe. She is also the first winner from Puerto Rico of mixed racial heritage, as her four predecessors (Marisol Malaret, Deborah Carthy-Deu, Dayanara Torres, and Denise Quinones) all have distinctly European features.

Zuleyka Rivera was crowned by Natalie Glebova of Canada, Miss Universe 2005. Later that evening, Rivera fainted briefly during a press appearance due to the heat exhaustion coupled with the weight of the heavy, chained dress she was wearing.

Zuleyka Rivera was born on October 3, 1987 in Cayey, Puerto Rico to Jerry Rivera and Carmen Mendoza. She was raised in Salinas, a small coastal town that collides with the Caribbean Sea. She has a small family comprising of her mother and father and two brothers whom she adores. She is the eldest of the three children and the only female. She is really fond of her brothers, Jose Alberto and Jerry Rivera, Jr. Her family is not very rich but a united family where respect and honesty prevails.

Zuleyka Rivera was a success even before winning the Miss Puerto Rico title. She won the local pageant for her hometown of Salinas. She was also placed as the first runner-up in the Miss Teen Puerto Rico pageant. Rivera is a journalism major at the University of Puerto Rico.

Rivera was a success even before winning the Miss Puerto Rico title. She won the local pageant for her hometown of Salinas. She was also placed as the first runner-up in the Miss Teen Puerto Rico pageant. Rivera is a journalism major at the University of Puerto Rico.She owes her success to her friend, mentor and advisor: Ismael Rios. Rivera quotes, "As a young impressionable teenage girl, the presence of Mr. Rios in my life has been one of tremendous prioritization and encouragement geared to achieving my goals. Through his example I was able to balance a hectic life as a model, high school student and work to the point where I was able to enter college at the age of seventeen." Rivera likes jogging, spinning and weightlifting, watching the Latino version of "American Idol" and a few of Telemundo's dramatic series. She enjoys listening to all sorts of music from Spanish Rock to Bolero to Reggaeton. She has her dance lessons and spends her spare time in meditation and yoga.

Her ambition is to become a great actress of infinite range. She has already worked for several commercials and TV programs. As Miss Puerto Rico she has worked as an emcee. To sum up, Rivera is not just another beauty in the limelight. She is a wonderful combination of a face that expresses the heritage, the music and a wonderful mix of races, along with brains, determination, courage and self-confidence.

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