Miss Colombia Paulina Vega poses during the Miss Universe pageant in Miami, on Jan. 25, 2015
Wilfredo Lee—AP
January 25, 2015 11:46 PM EST

Miss Colombia Paulina Vega was crowned Miss Universe in a live show in Miami Sunday night. Miss USA Nia Sanchez from Las Vegas was named a runner-up, along with Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha.

Vega, the 21-year-old granddaughter of celebrated Colombian singer Gastón Vega, is a student of business from the northern Colombia city of Barranquilla, and says this will be her final competition as she intends to resume her education, reported the Associated Press.

“It will be a dream come true to represent the woman of today,” she said this week before receiving news of her win. “A woman that not only cares about being beautiful and being glamorous, but also cares about being a professional, intelligent, hard-working person.”

A total of 88 countries participated in the contest, of which 15 contestants were narrowed down after a grueling selection process. The event allowed participants to spend two weeks sharing experiences like golfing and learning Zumba together.

For Sanchez, it was another year of disappointment: the 23-year-old also competed in the 2014 competition but lost out to Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler.


Read next: See Photos From the First Miss Universe Pageants

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.

Read More From TIME
You May Also Like