The Saratoga Sun -

By Liz Wood 

Olson enjoys volunteering in role as Miss Wyoming


Manuel Gallegos

Autumn Olson, right, posed with Tammy Guerra, Jan. 16 after she brought in the winning fish. Olson is the Miss Wyoming USA and was at the fishing derby in January to hand out checks to the winners on Jan. 17.

Giving out awards and posing with the biggest fish of the weekend is not the most glamorous thing Autumn Olson has done since being crowned Miss Wyoming USA, but she was still all smiles.

Olson was the celebrity guest during fishing derby Jan. 16 and 17. She was crowned Miss Wyoming USA last fall and has been busy since.

Olson was raised in Saratoga and attended school in Encampment. She was known for her killer spikes that were set up by her younger sister, Aspen. During her high school years, she and her sister competed for Miss Wyoming Teen USA.

What we see on TV is the final result and offers only glimpses of what it is like to be a Miss USA contestant. Olson gave the Saratoga Sun a larger view of the things they do – like pose with the big trout during an annual ice fishing derby.

She is still as sweet and personable as she was in high school.

With her new crown comes more pressure. The Miss USA competition is bigger, it's telecast, so a lot more attention comes to it, Olson said. "Overall, even in the three years I was in the teen program, it has evolved a lot. There are a lot more opportunities for the Miss Teen USA and Miss USA."

Olson has been doing a lot of traveling with the United Service Organization (USO). She works with Operation Dress and recently went to Jacksonville, Fla., where the group donated 400 dresses for females in the military and female spouses or partners and children of military service members. "It was supposed to be just for the married women, but there was such an interest that we opened up to the teens."

So far, that has been the highlight of her reign, helping women transform. They pick out a gown and there is a goodie bar where they find jewelry, accessories and makeup to complete their outfits. The project is two-fold as it promotes the Miss USA program and also helps women get a glamorous gown and the work's at no charge.

"It helps the women as they get positive feedback from women they look up to, like the Miss USA volunteers," Olson said.

For Olson, it is the volunteering that she loves. She especially likes giving back to the people who are serving our country in the military.

The title of Miss Wyoming USA opens a lot of doors volunteer-wise for Olson. "People call me and want me to volunteer or speak at events," Olson said. "The USO gives me an opportunity to travel to meet lots of people."

As for being asked to return to Saratoga to give out awards at the annual Ice Fishing Derby, Olson said it felt great to be able to give back to a community that has supported her so much.

Olson said the first round of Miss Teen Wyoming pageant applications have been sent out and she encourages those who qualify to give it a try. "If you don't like it, you don't have to go back the next year, but it is worth giving it one try," Olson said.

Olson went shopping early in January and has already picked her gown for nationals, but the national contest logistics has yet to be announced. So Olson will have a three-month wait until the time and location for nationals is announced.


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