Beauty Talks with Miss Illinois USA 2020 Olivia Pura

06 Apr 2020 | Priya Bhardwaj

Beauty Talks with Miss Illinois USA 2020 Olivia Pura


Olivia Pura was crowned Miss Illinois USA 2020 on 2nd September 2019 and will be representing Illinois at Miss USA 2020 competition during spring of 2020. She succeeds Alexandra Plotz Miss Illinois USA 2019. As a first generation Polish-American, Olive feels honored and respected to represent Illinois at such a prestigious level. 

Olivia Pura attended Northwestern University, where she graduated with honors in Biochemistry and Slavic Languages. This fall, Olivia will begin the Biochemistry and Biophysics Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago, bringing her one step closer to her dream of becoming a professor. Though born and raised in Illinois, this 22-year-old is proud to be a first-generation Polish-American. Her favorite ways to spend time include attending concerts, scouting the best coffee shops in Chicago, and goofing off with her three younger siblings. If crowned Miss USA, Olivia will continue her advocacy for female equality in S.T.E.M. fields.


Miss Illinois USA 2020 Olivia Pura Interview


Here’s the stunning beauty, talking about her dreams, advocacy and guilty pleasures in an exclusive interview with Angelopedia –

Q. How does it feel to be the winner of Miss Illinois USA 2020 and a delegate of Miss USA 2020?

The feeling of winning a Miss USA state title, and being Miss Illinois USA, is pretty hard to put into words! To this day, I’m in disbelief that I’ll be representing my home state at Miss USA. I have endless gratitude for this year and so much hope for the future.

Q. What is the best lesson you’ve learnt in your journey as the delegate of Miss USA 2020?

Social media has completely changed the world of pageantry. Although titleholders represent a region, state, or country, they have a global audience. I’ve learned how powerful and impactful this new platform can be! I’m so motivated to present the fullest, most genuine image of myself on social media, and use it as a tool to share my passions with others. It’s so humbling to digitally connect with people of all ages, nationalities, and backgrounds.

Q. What is the one thing that keeps you going and inspires you to be the best version of yourself?

It is more important than ever that young people having inspiring, motivated, and relatable role models. My passion for being one of those role models motivates me to constantly improve myself, while being transparent about my flaws and struggles.


Miss Illinois USA 2020 winner Olivia Pura


Q. How would you like to represent yourself at the national stage of Miss USA 2020?

Ultimately, I want the judges (and the world) to see me for who I truly am. I’m putting nothing but the most authentic, unfiltered, Confidently Beautiful version of Olivia Pura on the Miss USA stage! 

Q. Who is your ideal, if any and what values of theirs do you wish you could inculcate in your own life, and teach the next generation?

I don’t believe that there is any one “perfect” person. However, I admire Emma Watson very much! As a lifelong Harry Potter fan, I always thought Hermione was an incredible character. Just like Hermione, Emma Watson is outspoken, intelligent, and unapologetically herself. She also fights fiercely for female equality as a UN Women Global Goodwill ambassador and HeForShe leader. Emma Watson is a timeless, multifaceted woman that exemplifies “Confidently Beautiful” – the type of woman I strive to be.

Q. If you could be invisible for a day, how would you like to spend it?

If I could be invisible, I’d absolutely spend a day in the White House! I’ve always been curious about the ins and outs of United States politics. It’d be so fascinating to see a “day in the life” of the President.

Q. Would you like to share your most special childhood memory with us?

Growing up with three younger siblings, I have endless memories of us being silly, making messes, and laughing so hard our stomachs hurt. Many of my favorite days were spent climbing the two cherry trees in our backyard. One summer, we brought pillows and decorations into the trees and made a hideout together!


Miss Illinois USA 2020 winner Olivia Pura


Q. What or who empowers you to be yourself and work hard every day?

This may sound cliché, but my family is my driving force. Both of my parents immigrated to the United States from Poland in search of a better life. Their sacrifices and hard work are why I am who I am today – including Miss Illinois USA! I’m inspired each day by their selflessness and bravery. Also, I am the oldest of four and nearly 10 years older than my youngest sister. My siblings tell me how big of a role model I am to them – and that means the world to me!

Q. What is the one thing you can label as your guilty pleasure?

Oreos! I can (and often do) eat a whole package by myself.

Q. We’re sure that this competition is another milestone in your life. What is that one thing that you ultimately want to achieve?

Currently, I’m a biochemistry student and aspire to become a professor. One of the biggest items on my “bucket list” is to give a Ted Talk on the research I will be doing! I love science, and love sharing knowledge with others just as much.


Miss Illinois USA 2020 winner Olivia Pura


Q. If you are granted 3 wishes right now, what would you ask for?

- To win Miss USA 2020

- Relieve all the mental, physical, and economical strain that the coronavirus pandemic has caused globally

- For Pokémon to be real!

Q. Lastly, is there any message that you would like to give to your fans of Angelopedia?

Thank you to everyone on Angelopedia who has supported me! I still can’t believe that I am living this crazy dream…. I hope to make you all proud and represent Illinois well! I’m sending lots of love, health, and virtual hugs your way.