Cheslie Kryst Honored During 2022 Miss USA Pageant 8 Months After Her Death

The 2022 Miss USA pageant honored 2019 winner Cheslie Kryst, who died in January, with a touching tribute: "We were lucky to have her."

By Kisha Forde Oct 04, 2022 2:36 PMTags
Watch: Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst's Cause of Death Revealed

Cheslie Kryst's legacy lives on.
Nearly eight months after the 2019 Miss USA winner's death at age 30, the annual pageant reflected on her life.  Kryst died in January 2022 by suicide.
"If you're lucky in life, you get the chance to know someone who lights up a room, makes every moment seem better, and makes you feel important with a simple gesture or a word," correspondent Christian Murphy said during the Oct. 3 show, per Insider. "That was Cheslie Kryst."
As Murphy noted, Kryst's impact on others knew no bounds. "Now, I had the privilege to work alongside her, and her accomplishments were literally endless," he continued. "Cheslie was crowned Miss USA 2019. And in the words of her family, she embodied love, and served others, whether through her work as an attorney fighting for social justice, as Miss USA, and as a host on Extra. Most importantly as a daughter, sister, friend, mentor, and colleague."

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"We know her influence will live on, and tonight we honor Cheslie," he added. "We were lucky to have her if for only what seems like a fleeting moment, and even more blessed that her light lives on."

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

In mid-July, Miss USA organizers told E! News about the organization's plans to honor the beauty queen, lawyer and TV correspondent moving forward, which included moving the location of this year's pageant to where Kryst was crowned more than three years ago.

"In honor of Cheslie's memory, we found it to be a fitting full circle moment that this year, the 2022 Miss USA pageant will be held at the same venue in Reno, Nevada," Miss USA Organization President Crystle Stewart said. "Not only as a way to keep Cheslie's legacy alive but also to pay homage to the great city of Reno."

In the days following Kryst's death, her mom spoke out about the tragedy.
"Cheslie led both a public and a private life," April Simpkins told E! News in a statement shared in February. "In her private life, she was dealing with high-functioning depression which she hid from everyone—including me, her closest confidant—until very shortly before her death."

"I love you baby girl with all my heart," she said. "I miss you desperately. I know one day we'll be together again. Until then, rest easy and in peace."

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