Miss Russian California 2017
Despite her young age, Olga has already become a successful model, having worked for such famous brands as MAC Cosmetics, Nike, Apple and Chick-fil-A. She is a member of the Junior Olympic Team in rhythmic gymnastics and teaches a business program at Berkeley for international students. In addition, she just launched her own O’lala Design jackets line, raising funds for orphanages and children’s hospitals in Ukraine.
Some of my most boring interviews happen to be with the winners of beauty pageants. Most of the questions are predictable and the answers are cliché like, “I want to save the world and feed the hungry.” I can usually summarize them like this: “The conversation was nice but meaningless.”
Meeting with Olga Sigmundson, the 19-year-old winner of Miss Russian California 2017, dispelled my pessimistic premonitions in the first five minutes. Rather, she was feminine, charming, positive, ambitious and talented. She won me over with her sincerity and positive outlook on the world.
“When I heard that I was the First Place Winner, I was overflowing with emotions. I wasn’t even planning on taking first place. I applied because I wanted to enjoy the contest itself, the atmosphere, the stage and the performance.”
Olga was born in the stunning city of Odessa, which even Ukrainians themselves call a “country within a country.” She spent her childhood on the shores of the Black Sea, taking in Odessa’s sense of humor, the local character and charm, and her favorite apple buns baked by her grandmother. At 8 years old, our beauty queen left her homeland and immigrated to the USA.
To Olga, her mom is her guiding star. When you see such a strong mother-daughter bond, your heart can’t help but melt at the sweet sight. Olga’s mom is her best friend, adviser and PR manager. This heart-to-heart connection has helped Olga become a successful and self-sufficient girl who believes in herself and her abilities. She boldly strives towards her grand goals and plans with her mom supporting her through it all.
The name “Olga” means “holy” which really fits our beauty queen. As a teen, she founded a company called “We Believe” with the mission of supporting and inspiring children through education and motivation. Olga used the scholarship funds she received for winning the pageant to visit her homeland and help children with cancer. She has also put together a series of master classes for kids in local schools and regional hospitals. Her visit attracted lots of media attention from local TV stations.
A FASHION STATEMENT WITH A CAUSE
Raising funds for children in Ukraine was an ongoing challenge. It wasn’t that people refused to help but rather the fact that the amount collected was not enough to make a difference. Looking for a way to fund her charity projects, Olga launched “O’lala design,” her own clothing line which offers custom designer jackets detailed and embroidered by hand. Olga wants to use the proceeds from selling the jackets for charity.
Cat or Dog: Cat
BMW or Mercedes: BMW
French Fries or Salad: French Fries
Heels or Ballet Flats: Heels
Movie or Book: Movie
Music or Dance: Dance
Money or Fame: Money
Favorite Dessert: Buns with Apples & Poppy Seeds
Favorite Dish: Sushi
Favorite Sport: Yoga, Gymnastics
Sexiest Trait in a Man: Sense of Humor
Perfect World: One without orphans and cancer