A spry, 86-year-old World War II nurse won the top prize of Queen Grandmother Sunday at a Brooklyn beauty pageant for ladies in their golden years, according to New York Daily News.
Shifra Blinova of Sheepshead Bay won her first crown after four years of competing in the Your Highness Grandmother Pageant, an event sponsored by the Brooklyn community organization Be Proud.
"Thank you," the teary-eyed Blinova said in her acceptance speech. "I never expected to be crowned Queen Grandmother. I thought everyone forgot about me. I was ready to go home crying."
The judges - all grandfathers from the neighborhood - said they chose Blinova because of her intoxicating energy.
"When I judge these women, I`m looking for them to make me feel young just from watching them," said Alexander Lachman, 65. "I want to take energy from these grandmothers and be a witness to their youthfulness."
Blinova, born in Ukraine, sang a Russian song for the talent portion of the competition, accompanied by her two granddaughters.
"I`ve always been very active," she said of her success. "Since I was 5 years old, I participated in artistic activities.
"Instead of sitting on a bench and gossiping about the neighbors, I like to sing and perform," she said of her preparation for the contest.
Other winners at yesterday`s pageant were Bella Deleu-Bard, a Sheepshead Bay granny who won in the 69-and-younger category.
"I appreciate everything," Deleu-Bard, 65, said when she won. "This is an important day for me. I`ll never forget this day."
Her talent for the contest was a Spanish dance number with her grandson, Roma Khaves, 20.
"We practiced at night together," she said. "I was so glad to dance with him."
Winners were awarded a glass trophy and a brand-new couch.