Getting To Know Miss Earth Canada 2013 - SOFIYA CHORNIY

1. Please tell us something about yourself, your full name, age, height, vital statistics, where you came from, educational information, your interests and hobbies and other important facts about yourself.
Name: Sofiya Chorniy Age: 19 years old 
Height: 5’9 Stats: Brown eyes, dirty blonde hair, 35-25-36 
Born in L’viv, Ukraine
Studying Kinesiology, French, and enrolled in the Concurrent Teacher’s Education Program at the University of Toronto
Interests: Environmental issues, nature’s benefits to human health, physical activity, wellness
Hobbies: Exercise (biking, running, swimming), arts & crafts, community nature cleanups, reading
Facts: Played water polo for 7 years as the goalie of the Mavericks Water Polo club, as a child I spent the majority of my time outdoors, enjoy spending time with my family

2. Who influenced you to join your country’s national pageant prior to winning the title to represent your country at Miss Earth? How did this person influence you to join your country’s national pageant?
My parents are a large influence in my life. They push me to be the best I can be and so when I decided to join the pageant, their encouragement motivated me to follow through with this big decision.

3. How were you chosen to represent your country and what preparations have you done for the Miss Earth 2013 competition?
Miss Earth Canada 2013 consisted of several parts – the contestants were judged based on an interview, presentation in swimwear and evening gown, and our final answers. There were also awards given for Miss Congeniality, Best in Swimwear, Best in Evening gown, Best Talent, Miss Photogenic. I received the awards Miss Photogenic and Best in Swimwear.

4. If you choose among the four elements: earth, air, water or fire, what would you like to be and why?
I would like to be water. Water is the basis of life, and without it, there would be no life on the planet. Also, water is the most abundant substance on Earth and the year of 2013 has been dedicated by the UN to International Water Cooperation because of its integral role on our planet.

5. What is your fashion sense and style? Who is your style icon and why did you choose him/her?
I would say my fashion style is comfortable and feminine. I do not follow style icons frequently and therefore cannot name someone who’s style mine is closest to. However, one person whose style I truly admire is that of Kate Middleton. I love that she is always dressed very elegantly with tasteful femininity.

6. If you are an animal, what would you be and why would you like to be that animal?
That is a difficult choice as there are so many spectacular animals on our planet. I would have to choose to be a dolphin. Dolphins have been shown to be very similar to humans in many ways, and are often portrayed as the oceanic mammal that comes to the rescue of human beings – showing their sympathetic capabilities. They have been names to be some of the most intelligent creatures on Earth. Dolphins also experience a part of the world completely different from what we are accustomed to.

7. What is your idea of fun? How do you enjoy yourself to have fun?
My ideas of fun vary depending on what my mood is. Sometimes it is going out and dancing with friends, other times it is reading, and other times it is working and studying!

8. How would you describe the following colors to a blind person?
A. Red – the colour of heat and the colour that represents passionate feelings like love and anger.
B. White – the colour of light – the colour of purity and of hope
C. Blue – the colour of the water and the sky (which is something all that those with vision can see high above them outside). Blue is the colour of depth on Earth.
D. Yellow – the colour of happiness and of the sunshine that they can feel on their skin.
E. Green – the colour of life, of the leaves and plants that they can touch and hear as the wind moves them.

9. Explain what does this quote by Rachel Carson means, “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
There are certain things that we as humans will never know about the Earth and its workings. However, we can gain a certain understanding from it – a priceless connection, one that heals the person. Nature, with its greatness and timeless presence, also helps put things into perspective for a person – as it reminds us of the cycles of life, and that time goes on. When people slow down in their life to appreciate the beauty of nature, this provides them with a peace of mind, and with pleasure from the beauty they are seeing and experiencing.

10. We live in a world where there are a lot of environment hazards like pollutions, etc. How would you pursue clean living in your community and make our community and our planet Earth a better place to live?
I believe that when little changes are combined in our lifestyle, this amounts to a lifestyle that is wholly greener. Many of the cleaning supplies my family and I use are environmentally friendly, I bike to places I visit often such as to my friend’s house, the gym, or the library. I also enjoy contributing to the community by presenting educational environment materials to children.

11. What environmental platform do you want to pursue during the Miss Earth 2013 pageant and how would you help to pursue this platform?
My environmental platform is teaching as many people as possible about the benefits of nature to our health. The environment is suffering more than ever, and I believe that a weak connection to nature is one of the problems. The technology/information era may give individuals a know-it-all attitude towards nature, when it is really something they should experience themselves if they are to learn how complex it is, and to experience the health gains that exposure to nature offers them. Also, the closer the bond between an individual and nature, the more likely they will engage in environmentally friendly acts.

12. Are you a member of any environmental organization or animal rights protection group in your country?
I am a Site Coordinator of multiple shoreline cleanups in my community – part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, and will soon be an EcoMentor – part of the EcoMentors organization.

13. In your country, what do you think is the most common environmental problems that need serious attention? And how will you do your part to help eliminate or prevent this problem?
Preserving our resources. Firstly, the situation at the Oil Rigs of Alberta is detrimental to the ecosystems under which it lays, since to gain access to them, the life on the surface is literally scraped off the face of the planet. Secondly, the surrounding water is becoming polluted, and we need to take care of this precious substance as it is becoming increasingly scarce around the world – as the International Year of Water Cooperation teaches us. Though the oil is beneficial to our economy while it lasts, we should not scavenge for what is left of these oil reserves, and move onto greener sources of fuel. What I would do for this is try to educate as many people as I can about it, especially children. If we teach children the immeasurable power of their actions as future responsible citizens, they will do great things.

14. Aside from your country, which country in the world would you like to live? And why did you choose this country?
Every country I have visited thus far (Ukraine, Poland, Russia, France, United States, Malta..) has its own charm and would be worth living in. I believe have not seen enough of the Earth to truly know where I would like to live. There are many countries I would love to visit, however. The Philippines is one of them and I am overjoyed that Miss Earth 2013 will be taking place there!

15. What do you think is the biggest environmental problem that our planet Earth is experiencing today? And how would you do your share to prevent this problem?
I believe the biggest problem facing us and the environment is the critical situation at the Fukushima power plant. We as the human species have not yet thought of a proper way to dispose of nuclear waste, and it is a very dangerous substance to be spewing out into the Earth’s largest ocean, as it is. There is no way to filter it, and it is very potent and comes with many detrimental consequences to life. I do not think I can do much about this particular problem, but once again if we learn from this situation, we are less likely to make the same mistakes again.

16. If you win the Miss Earth title, how would you use your title to promote environmental awareness all over the world? 
Being a future educator, I would start by raising as much awareness possible to the general public about the importance of being involved in the community, and by being a responsible inhabitant of the earth – and therefore making environmentally-friendly lifestyle choices. I would also teach children, as our future change-makers, about the wonders of nature, and how they can help Mother Earth heal.

17. Which of the two would you choose and why?
A. Beautiful or Smart. I would choose smart. Being smart is always more deeply rewarding because expanding your knowledge is expanding your limits in life.
B. City or Countryside. I would choose city. In the city it is faster to get to one place to another and there are more differing opportunities. One can also use public transit in the city easily. However, when I raise my children, I wish to do so in the countryside as I would like them to experience an ever-present natural environment growing up.
C. Money or Fame. This is a hard decision. Money and fame can both be used for great things. Money – as a means to achieve something large. Fame – same thing, and gives you a platform to spread a message if you choose to do so. I would choose money because fame may bring a person negative attention. Regardless of positive things that a person has done, there will always be scrutiny. With money, one can pick and choose their spotlight and spread their message that way.
D. Deaf or Mute. Mute. As a person, I am a listener and a firm believer in lifelong learning. I love listening to stories, explanations, and opinions of others. Also, I treasure being able to hear others, and would love to be able to hear the voices of my parents, relatives, and friends.
E. Hot or Cold. Cold. The feeling of the rewarding warmth that comes after being cold is one of the best feelings in my opinion.

18. When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want?
I would want to know that my children and loved ones are in good hands, that I have served my purpose in life, and that I have experienced a positive change in humanity in my lifetime – and that hopefully I was an influencer in it.

19. If you are the answer, what will the question be and why did you choose this question?
Who will be the happiest participant at Miss Earth 2013? I will. I think it is a great honour to be able to compete at Miss Earth. This organization has such an important message to spread and just by preparing for this pageant and by competing in it, everyone is already a winner.

20. Lastly, what is your special message to all the people reading this interview? Also, please tell them to support you and the Miss Earth pageant.

Thank you to those who took the time to read through my answers. The Miss Earth pageant is very important to me as I have learnt very many dear lessons throughout my preparation and leading up to my decision to compete in the Miss Earth Canada competition. Thank you and I hope to hear from you! Please like my page to support me: www.facebook.com/SofiyaChorniyMEC2013

By Deybid Natanawan

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