Poland Holds Pageant for Women in Wheelchairs

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. know no bounds / noʊ noʊ baʊndz / (idiom) – having no limit

    I believe that a mother’s love knows no bounds.

  2. inaugural / ɪnˈɔ gyər əl / (adj) – first among other similar events

    The inaugural program for the homeless kids is set next month.

  3. perception / pərˈsɛp ʃən / (n) – someone’s thought, belief, or opinion about someone or something else

    The public had a bad perception of the senator after he cheated.

  4. grace / greɪs / (v) – to make a place or event pleasing using someone or something’s presence

    The contestants graced the stage wearing beautiful dresses.

  5. victorious / vɪkˈtɔr i əs / (adj) – being the winner of a game, competition, etc.

    The most beautiful and talented girl emerged victorious in the pageant.


Read the text below.

A charitable organization in Poland has proven that beauty knows no bounds through Miss Wheelchair World.

Last October, The Only One Foundation organized a global beauty pageant for women with disabilities. Held in Poland, the glamorous inaugural event aims to improve the lives of women who use wheelchairs and to change people’s perception of them.

The organizing body was started by two women who also have disabilities. It has organized Miss Poland Wheelchair pageants in the past. After a few years of planning and with the help of sponsors, the foundation was able to realize its plan to make the beauty pageant global.

The pageant featured a total of 24 contestants from different countries including Brazil, Canada, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia, and the United States. Each of them graced the stage wearing their national costumes, cocktail dresses, and evening gowns. The contestants also amazed the audience with wheelchair dance routines.

In an interview, each candidate talked about the challenges of being in a wheelchair. Some also shared how they became disabled. Regardless of their circumstances, all the contestants showed a positive outlook. One candidate from Chile, who is a wheelchair tennis player, said that she believes they were all winners. Another candidate from the United States shared her belief that people can shine beyond their limitations.

In the end, Aleksandra Chichikova of Belarus emerged victorious. In her profile, Aleksandra stated that she wants people to see past her disabilities and begin looking at her as an equal. She also encouraged others to fight their anxieties and fears.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think events for disabled people like Miss Wheelchair World can truly empower them? Why or why not?
• In your opinion, does your country provide enough opportunities for people with disabilities? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• What do you think is the purpose of beauty pageants? Discuss.
• Do you think beauty pageants are effective in raising awareness about social issues? Why or why not?