Witness the Fitness
For the second year, thousands of spectators and participants streamed into Ohio to behold the wonders of the Arnold Sports Festival and its crowning glory… the Miss Arnold Teen Fitness Pagean
The iconic catchphrase “We’ll be back” was repeated throughout the year following the inaugural Miss Arnold Teen Fitness Pageant, and we were back in Columbus, Ohio, ready to witness the newest incarnation of this growing phenomenon. What would the weekend offer? Lots of beauty, intelligence, and fitness; after all, this was the Miss Arnold Teen Fitness Pageant. According to Director Kylee Miller, “This year, a lot of preparation and thought went into the new opening production outfits, the on-stage presentation, talent categories, and more. And remember, once again this year the Miss Arnold Teen Fitness pageant is fortunate enough to present $10,000.00 in cash prizes on-stage to the finalists, courtesy of our wonderful sponsor, Debi Lee. I really believe the girls will have a weekend to remember!”
Although this is staged as part of the Arnold Sports Festival, the largest event of its kind in the world, it is still a pageant, and pageantry was everywhere to behold. Competitions abound throughout the Greater Columbus, Ohio, area, and it is a testament to the directors and volunteers alike that so much is produced with nary a hint of concern on the part of the thousands of competitors and attendees.
While awaiting our opportunity to begin judging the Miss Arnold Teen Fitness Pageant, we were witness to an extraordinary display of other diverse fitness competitions: swimsuit categories, modeling, fitness and figure, chess, fencing, jump rope, martial arts, baton twirling, dance fitness, ping pong, body building, a collegiate gymnastics competition, and more than these pages can relate. It was pageantry at its finest, with everyone celebrating their unique brand of competition.
Judging of the Miss Arnold Teen Fitness Pageant began in earnest with each delegate answering pertinent questions regarding her own individual platform, her commitment to a fit and healthy lifestyle, and her qualifications for earning the crown and representing teens throughout the year. The questions delved into several meaningful topics: “How do we combat poor body image among women but still maintain a healthy and fit society?” “Should gym class be mandatory in high school?” “Do you believe the government should be involved in school nutrition?” “What is the one misconception about fitness you would like to get rid of?” The questions were succinctly and honestly answered by each young woman. As each delegate spoke, it quickly became apparent that the judges would have an unenviable and difficult decision to make in finding the next Miss Teen Arnold Fitness queen.
The following day, excitement abounded throughout the staging area as preparations began for the on-stage competitions. Heavy on the beat and high on the energy, the delegates vying for the crown of Miss Arnold Teen Fitness took to the stage as the audience erupted in jubilation, so much so that many of the attending bystanders within the arena stopped in their tracks to witness the experience and join the celebration.
Hosted once again by renowned performer Chris Kirkpatrick of N’Sync and Miss Ohio USA 2008 Monica Day, the delegates were welcomed to the stage to present Fitness Wear – an obvious acknowledgment to the title – as they began the on-stage competition with each representative aptly displaying her commitment to a healthy and fit lifestyle. As with many competitions within the glamour lifestyle industry, the teens would showcase Fitness Wear as opposed to the traditional pageant competition of Swimwear.
As Fitness Wear concluded, the difficult decision of the judges became more apparent with the Miss Arnold Teen Fitness Talent presentations. The crowd and judges alike were amazed at the sheer diversity of talent on display. From gymnastics to lyrical dance, acrobatics to jazz dance, contemporary dance to fitness routines, and more, everyone agreed this was an extremely talented and fit group of young women. The Talent Competition, worth thirty-percent of the total score, began to winnow the field of contestants in their quest for the crown.
Evening Gown presented the delegates in their personal choice of social occasion wear and, as would be expected, brought the crowd to its collective feet in appreciation of the beauty, individuality, poise, and glamour displayed on stage. As the delegates received the overwhelming positive response from family, supporters, and pageant fans, the final question loomed next. We were one step closer to crowning the new Miss Teen Arnold Fitness queen.
The final question would be the defining moment in selecting the new representative of this coveted title. As the delegates approached the center stage microphone, each one received a topical and pertinent question from one of the select judges. It was time to place the final ballots and discover who would represent their peers during an exciting year promoting a fit and healthy lifestyle.
But before the crowning, it was time to recognize outstanding performances during the Miss Arnold Teen Fitness Pageant. Pageantry CEO Carl Dunn was welcomed to the stage to personally present the Pageantry Spirit Award to staff member and much appreciated Production Coordinator Rian Valentine for her tireless efforts in making the event such a success. Special recognitions went to Miss Photogenic Lauren Beard, Outstanding Talent Christina Goodwill, Miss Congeniality Juliet Falanco, Top Model Avery Kluth, Community Dedication Lauren Beard, and Overall Fitness Christina Goodwill.
The time had finally arrived to crown the new Miss Arnold Teen Fitness and her court. As the crowd began a crescendo of applause, 2nd Runner-up and recipient of a $1,000.00 cash prize was awarded to Avery Kluth. Receiving a $3,000.00 cash prize as 1st-runner-up was Rebecca Larson. With screams of elation throughout the room, it was proclaimed that the recipient of a $6,000.00 cash prize was Miss Arnold Teen Fitness Lauren Beard.
As the music faded and the well-wishers lined up to take pictures with the newly crowned queen, the much anticipated Arnold Schwarzenneger chant of “we’ll be back” echoed through the room. With Miss Arnold Teen Fitness Lauren Beard acknowledging her heartfelt appreciation to the judges, staff, audience, and fellow sister delegates, the industry gained a powerful voice in promoting fitness and a healthy lifestyle throughout the country. And in the immortal words of Mr. Schwarzenneger, yes, we’ll be back!