'I Accept the Crown': Miss Hawaii Savannah Gankiewicz Named Miss USA 2023 After Noelia Voigt Resignation

A new Miss USA 2023 has been announced after the shocking resignation of former titleholder Noelia Voigt

Published Time: 10.05.2024 - 20:31:09 Modified Time: 10.05.2024 - 20:31:09

A new Miss USA 2023 has been announced after the shocking resignation of former titleholder Noelia Voigt.

“The Miss USA Organization is thrilled to announce that Miss Hawaii USA Savannah Gankiewicz is Miss USA 2023," the organization wrote in a statement on social media posted Thursday, May 9. "She will be crowned in her native state of Hawaii in a celebratory coronation on Wednesday, May 15."

 “I accept the crown knowing that I have been uplifted by my supporters, family, friends, and the people of Hawaii throughout this journey. I accept this title on their behalf," Gankiewicz said in a statement, which also referenced Voigt's resignation.

She added, "I fully support and respect Noelia’s decision to step down, and I stand in solidarity with mental health awareness."

In a separate statement posted on her own Instagram account, Gankiewicz stressed that "my decision to accept the Miss USA crown was not one that was made lightly.”

"I stand with Noelia and admire her strength," she added. “Noelia, it was the honor of a lifetime to share the stage with you during your crowning moment and I wish you all the best in your next chapter."

In her Instagram post announcing her decision to step down, Voigt, 24, cited the importance of mental health.

"I realize this may come as a large shock to many," she wrote in the post which was shared on Monday, May 6. "Never compromise your physical and mental well-being."

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"In life, I strongly value the importance of making decisions that feel b -

est for you and your mental health," the statement read. "My journey as Miss USA has been incredibly meaningful, representing Utah with pride, and later the USA at Miss Universe. Sadly, I have made the very tough decision to resign from the title of Miss USA 2023."

Two days after Voigt's resignation, Miss Teen USA 2023 UmaSofia Srivastava announced that she too was resigning as her "personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization."

Speaking with PEOPLE on Thursday, Voigt said that while the pair are "very, very, close," Srivastava's resignation took her by surprise.

"I actually didn't know that she was going to do that. So it was surprising," she said.

Prior to both of their resignations, another employee of the Miss USA organization, the social media director, alsoresigned from her post. She claimed in a statement that the organization did not support her role or offer enough respect to the titleholders.

“I feel the way current management speaks about their titleholders is unprofessional and inappropriate,” she wrote in astatementon Instagram, “I disavow workplace toxicity and bullying of any kind.”

In a previous statement to PEOPLE, Miss USA CEO and President Laylah Rose said, "All along, my personal goal as the head of this organization has been to inspire women to always create new dreams, have the courage to explore it all, and continue to preserve integrity along the way,”

“I hold myself to these same high standards and I take these allegations seriously," Rose added. "Please be assured that the well-being of all individuals associated with Miss USA is my top priority.”

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