Athlete turned beauty queen promotes fitness - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Athlete turned beauty queen promotes fitness

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 news) - She joined the competition as Miss Lafayette, but Lacey Sanchez left as the new Miss Louisiana.

Crowned Saturday night, Sanchez will now live on ULM’s campus and take a year off of grad school to fulfill her duties. But, this athlete turned beauty queen never thought she would one day wear the crown of Miss Louisiana.

"It hasn't hit me yet. It doesn't seem like its real," Sanchez said.

Growing up, Sanchez was an athlete. She said pageants were not part of her game plan, but with some encouragement from her sorority sisters, she entered her first competition and said that experience helped her through a difficult time.

"My mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer at the time, so that became our little project. We did that while she was starting her treatments and all that kind of stuff and we enjoyed it,” Sanchez said. “Yeah, I tripped on stage. I didn't own make-up or high heels and somehow I won the pageant and the rest is history."  

Sanchez's platform, Designed to Move, promotes physical activity. Although her program is for everyone, Sanchez is focused on children. She said being active helps in more ways than just personal appearance.

'When I was feeling well, I was studying better, I was making better grades. In my job I was doing better. So being active and moving is a direct correlation to a positive social trend,” says Sanchez.   

Sanchez also gives some advice for those who may not have the time to fit in a work out.

"It can be things as simple as taking the elevator, take the stairs. I know when I lived in Oregon, when I was an intern, I biked to work every day. That's how I got around. It is very subtle lifestyle changes, but when your kids see you doing that they are going to follow suit as well," Sanchez said.

Instead of returning home to Baton Rouge, Sanchez will now live in Monroe for the rest of her reign. She said she couldn't be more thankful to represent the state and promote something she is very passionate about. 

Sanchez will compete in the Miss America Pageant this September in Atlantic City.

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