Miss Universe 1994, the 43rd Miss Universe pageant, was held on 20 May 1994 at the Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center in the city of Pasay, Philippines, a suburb of Manila. Sushmita Sen of India was crowned by Dayanara Torres of Puerto Rico at the end of the event. This marks the first time that India won the pageant. 77 contestants competed in this year.
Miss Thailand Areeya Chumsai said she was "made in the Philippines." Her parents became sweethearts when they were exchange students taking up Education at the University of Manila in the late ’60s until the early ’70s. They married upon returning to Thailand. She was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the United States, the daughter of Thai immigrants. She spent her childhood and adolescent years in the state of Michigan and received a degree in journalism from Michigan State University in 1993.
Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, she traveled to Thailand to visit relatives and found a side job as a model for various fashion magazines. Within a year, she qualified for the Miss Thailand pageant and won the crown in 1994. She went on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant held in the Philippines, placing 13th overall despite being a heavy favorite of Filipina beauty queens Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz and Miss World 1993 Second Runner Up Ruffa Gutierrez; She was recipient of the "Best Kodak Smile."
During the pageant, there was a probe by the Commission on Human Rights as to whether a police round-up of street children was intended to improve Manila's international image during the pageant events. This was criticised by Areeya Sirisopha Chumsai, even though the same incident occurred in Thailand in the Miss Universe 1992 pageant.
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