“I am proud to be her boyfriend,” were the words of businessman Carlos Rodriguez on Elena Correa who was officially crowned Miss Costa Rica 2017 on Tuesday night.
The crowning event was not a pageant, rather a ‘coronation dinner’ for Correa held at the local television channel 7 (Teletica) Estudio Marco Picado.
Teletica is the owner of the franchise rights to the Miss Costa Rica.
Prior to the ‘show’ Rodriguez spoke to La Nacion’s Viva.
“For me she merits it, even if there are people who think otherwise, we do not care. The important thing is that she will prove what she is. Last year (Miss Costa Rica 2016) she was practically Miss Costa Rica, for whatever reasons she was not,” said the ex-owner of the La Guácima racetrack in Alajuela.
The La Guacima Speedway is now the Parque Viva, purchased by La Nacion in 2013 for a reported US$12 million dollars.
The Miss Costa Rica organization has been criticized for not holding a pageant this year, preferring to crown last year’s runner up (Correa). Some on the social media have gone as far as accusing Rodriguez of buying the event.
Rodriguez, 68, defended the naming of his girlfriend, the 26-year-old Correa, as Miss Costa Rica and said that the Herediana (Correa is a native of Heredia), who is a student of Medicine and Business Administration, has all the merits to represent Costa Rican women.
Although he told Viva that he had no spoken to Elena all day, he emphasized that he is proud and pleased to accompany her in the realization of her dream of being a beauty queen.
“Today I felt her very excited. It is something that she wanted (to be Miss Costa Rica) since she was a child and the time came and she is,” said the businessman, who once again shrugged off criticism, not for their age difference, but for buying his girl the crown.
The coronation event that lasted about 40 minutes started at 8:00 pm and telecast live on the Teletica website. It had all the makings of a beauty pageant, but with only one contestant, the winner.
In her crowning speech, Correa spoke of her roots and her dream of being Miss Costa Rica.
It was also the moment that took advantage for the model to show off her slim body in a swimsuit. The brunette stripped off her gown, wearing underneath a black two-piece bathing suit before some 120 people (and all the people watching via the Internet) attending the event.
Teletica image manager, Gabriela Alfaro, cheered Correa, who will be receiving close to ¢40 million (US$70,000 dollars) in prizes, including a crown with necklace and earrings valued at ¢3.5 million (US$6,000), as well as a late model car and ¢5.5 million (US$9,600) in cash.