An NFL heiress who competed in the Miss USA pageant as Miss Kansas this year has revealed the extensive prep it took to get ready for the contest, including working with six interview coaches and a walking coach whom she practiced with every week.
Gracie Hunt, 22 — who is the daughter of billionaire Kansas City Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt — won the Miss Kansas USA title in April and went on to place in the top 16 at Miss USA last month.
But pageant queens can’t just rely on their good looks to win crowns, and Gracie told the New York Post this week that there was quite a bit of training involved — including perfecting her pageant walk.
‘When looking at walks, that was my most challenging part of competition,’ she said, explaining why she enlisted a walking coach to get it right.
Gracie Hunt, 22 is the daughter of billionaire Kansas City Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt and won Miss Kansas earlier this year
She made it to the top 16 in the Miss USA pageant last month and has opened up about the prep that went into competing
She hired walking coach Kristen Bradford and spent one to two hours training with her every week for months
She said walking was the ‘most challenging part’ because ‘it is not easy when you’re walking in those stilettos on stage’
Gracie hired walking coach Kristen Bradford to help her practice walking like a winner and trained with her for one to two hours every week.
She began working with her in the summer of 2020, meeting via Zoom or in person on a weekly basis.
Kristen, who was twice second runner-up in the Miss Oregon USA pageant and also represented Malibu at the Miss California USA pageant, runs Crown Diva Boutique & Pageant Academy.
The Pageant Academy charges $175 per hour to train for categories like interview, walking, stage presence, and communication.
‘If you’ve seen “Miss Congeniality,” when [Michael Caine’s character, Victor Melling] tells [Sandra Bullock’s character, Gracie Hart] to glide, it is not easy when you’re walking in those stilettos on stage and you don’t think about things like the weight of a dress, and if it has a slit or not, and how that affects your weight and your movement,’ Gracie explained.
Gracie is pictured with her dad. Her grandfather was American Football League founder Lamar Hun
Gracie also worked with six different interview coaches to be able to best field questions during the competition
She also enlisted her mom, Tavia Hunt (second from right) – who won Miss Kansas USA in 1993 – for pointers
She is currently pursing a master’s degree in sports management
Gracie also worked with six different interview coaches to be able to best field questions during the competition.
She also enlisted her mom, Tavia Hunt — who won Miss Kansas USA in 1993 — for pointers.
‘I went and I watched my first [pageant] with her when I was around 17 years old, and it was a foreign industry to me,’ she said.
‘I was like, “OK, you’ve done this, I clearly have no idea what’s going on, but can you help me?” And she said, “I’m not sure because you walk like a soccer tomboy, but we can give it a shot,” and the rest is history.’
Gracie, who is the granddaughter of American Football League founder Lamar Hun, didn’t end up taking home the top prize at Miss USA, but she has plenty of other plans for the future.
She is currently pursing a master’s degree in sports management and hopes to become the first female NFL commissioner.
She founded the nonprofit organization, called Breaking Barriers Through Sports, which aims to ‘level the playing field for women, the disadvantaged, and those with disabilities.’
She founded the nonprofit organization, called Breaking Barriers Through Sports, which aims to ‘level the playing field for women, the disadvantaged, and those with disabilities’
And she told the Post that she plans to launch her own health and fitness company in the future, and is considering participating in two reality shows
Gracie hopes to become the first female NFL commissioner
And she told the Post that she plans to launch her own health and fitness company in the future, and is considering participating in two reality shows.
Earlier this year, shortly after winning the title of Miss Kansas, Gracie took to Instagram to defend the controversial swimsuit segments, insisting that they actually help ’empower’ women while ‘reinforcing’ the importance of ‘health and fitness.’
The swimsuit contest has been rebranded in recent years as the ‘fitness competition,’ but the spectacle of young women parading around in swimsuits and being judged on their nearly-naked bodies still rankles some critics.
But Gracie suggested that the swimsuit competition is an essential element of the pageant, saying it encourages the women taking part to focus on their ‘health and fitness’ — which she insists has never been more important given the ‘obesity crisis looming large over America’.
‘Health and fitness are more relevant today than ever before, as an obesity crisis looms large over America,’ she said.
‘An athlete my entire life, it took pageantry to teach me sustainable, real life health habits. Competing in fitness is one of the most empowering things I’ve ever chosen to do. Preparing for swimsuit competition helped me not only to look good, but to feel good.’
Active: Gracie insisted that promoting health and fitness has never been more important given the ‘obesity crisis looming large over America’
Victory: The health and fitness fanatic (seen center) claimed victory in the Miss Kansas USA pageant, and will now go on to compete in Miss USA 2021
She insisted that she has never felt ‘degraded’ or ‘diminished’ while taking part in the swimsuit competition, claiming that it actually helps to promote a ‘hard work ethic’ and teach ‘life lessons’ about living a healthy lifestyle.
‘Swimsuit modeling or showing my work in the pursuit of health and fitness does not in any way diminish my worth as a woman,’ she said.
‘It does not abate my true strength, lessen my credibility, or degrade any other area of my life. In fact it reinforces the notion that pageantry develops a hard work ethic in all areas of competition and life lessons about living healthy inside and out.’
Gracie, who regularly documents her fitness routines and vegan diet tips on social media, also went on to list the many benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle.
‘Exercise and healthful eating reduce stress, increase heart health as well as overall happiness and wellness,’ she said.
‘I want all women to feel empowered and strong, so that we may fulfill our potential and become the best versions of ourselves,’ she continued.
‘We are all different. There is no “one size fits all,” but there is confidence in knowing that you are better today than you were yesterday. Work towards health and strength, it is empowering and confidence building.’