Miss Teen USA pageant replaces swimsuits with athletic wear

(AP) -- The Miss Teen USA pageant is dropping the swimsuit portion of its competition.

The Miss Universe organization announced Wednesday that the pageant will replace the bathing suit section with an athletic wear competition. The 2016 Miss Teen USA pageant will be held in Las Vegas on July 30.

"This decision reflects an important cultural shift we're all celebrating that empowers women who lead active, purposeful lives and encourage those in their communities to do the same," Paula M. Shugart, president of The Miss Universe Organization, wrote to state directors.

In a statement, reigning Miss Teen USA Katherine Haik, applauded the move, calling it "a great way to celebrate the active lives that so many young women lead and set a strong example for our peers."

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