No. I was always too busy in school with studies and extracurricular activities to bother with sports. I'd much rather watch them, but that's not saying I'm not active. I'm on the go all the time and I do a group of exercises for 15 minutes every evening before going to bed.
This is an article from the Nov. 11, 1957 issue
LONI JESS GRAVELLE
Yes. I was active in sports all through Reno High School and during my first year in college. Gymnasium classes were also compulsory. Basketball is my best game, but I play in other sports, including a lot of softball. All this must have helped me acquire ease, poise, grace and good health.
Certainly. Miss America should be athletic. That's the spirit of America. I'm quite athletic. It didn't win me the title of Miss America, but it helped me finish second. I love sports and I'm proficient in water skiing, swimming, tennis and basketball. The confidence sports gave me is a great asset.
Sports and exercise aren't everything, but they're important. Without them a girl is too flabby in a swim suit for a beauty contest. My sports are basketball, swimming and water skiing. I'm also a cheerleader at Oklahoma University. That helped develop grace and confidence.
Sports activity was a great help getting me into the finals. That's because health is good looks. A girl can't be both good-looking and shapely unless she is active and healthy. Horseback riding and swimming are my favorite sports. I've even doubled for Jo Van Fleet in the movies.
MARILYN ELAINE VAN DERBUR
Miss America of 1958
I wouldn't be Miss America today if it were not, in large measure, for athletics. Of course, there were other very important factors, but competing on a national level in skiing, horseback riding, golf and swimming develops one the way nature intended. P.S.: I broke in my own horse.
LINDA KAY HATTMAN
Of course. I've been dancing for 15 years. In my opinion, there is no better exercise to develop a graceful, feminine form, devoid of unsightly, bulging muscles. Also, in high school, swimming and gymnasium classes were compulsory. I doubt that I'd be here without this training.
University of Nebraska
Undoubtedly. One of the basic judgings in the Miss America pageant is the swim suit competition. How can a girl get a high rating in this event without an attractive figure? She can't have this figure without proper exercise. I've danced since I was 3 and learned to swim at 5.
Yes. I've always done a lot of horseback riding, water skiing and snow skiing. So much snow skiing, in fact,that I'm a member of the ski patrol at Hogback Mountain. I'm thin. I welcome every bit of muscle I get and I exercised in a gymnasium to get in condition for this pageant.
JUDITH FAYE HANSEN
Yes. If I hadn't engaged in gym exercises and sports, I couldn't have held up through the strenuous days of this pageant. Swimming and horseback riding will help give any girl a good figure without the big arm and shoulder muscles that are unsightly in evening gowns.