Russia holds Miss Snow Universe pageant in Siberia, complete with bikini photo session in the snow.
NOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA (JANUARY 19, 2013) (REUTERS) - A Siberian beauty pageant held in Novosibirsk, Russia on Saturday (January 19) had contestants competing for the title of Miss Snow Universe by parading outside in their bikinis in sub-zero temperatures.
The girls, 20 contestants in all, posed for the cameras wearing no more than bright blue two-piece swim wear and banners.
Pageant co-organizer Tatyana Fetisova said they'd wanted to hold a swimsuit session despite the fact that they weren't in a warm climate.
"We understood that we don't have the sea or the ocean - we can't photograph the girls in bikinis. But we wanted to do this anyway, so we decided it would be sensational if we did it in the way that we did it (photographed the girls) today," Fetisova said.
None of the girls complained about the assignment, with all seeming to take it in their stride.
"I don't really know - are my teeth chattering because I'm nervous or because it was cold? But actually, I really liked it - it was cool. I could've stood there for longer," pageant contestant Maria Shmelyova from Berdsk in the Novosibirsk region said, warming up in a bus after her photo session.
Verner was pleased with the win, but said she had come down with a head cold.
"No, probably it wasn't (because of) the swimsuit photo session. When I came my throat already hurt a little, but it didn't keep me from fighting for the Miss Snow Universe title - it's a huge title and it was very important for me, thank you," Verner said.
Verner, in addition to winning a crown and a contract from a modelling agency, will go on to represent Russia in the Miss World Tourism pageant to be held in Thailand - a much warmer climate than Novosibirsk.
Temperatures in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk hovered around minus 21 degrees Celsius the weekend of the pageant.