Miss Teen USA eliminates swimsuit competition

Miss Teen USA is eliminating a staple in beauty pageants — the swimsuit competition.

The Miss Universe Organization announced Wednesday, through an article in USA Today, that the 51 women competing for the Miss Teen USA title will now be judged in a brand new athletic wear competition. 

Reigning Miss Teen USA Katherine Haik told USA Today the transition is the right move. 

“This new direction for Miss Teen USA is a great way to celebrate the active lives that so many young women lead and set a strong example for our peers.”

Miss Universe president Paula Shugart released a memo addressing the shift.

"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," she said in the statement. “Our hope is that this decision will help all of Miss Teen USA's fans recognize these young women for the strong, inspiring individuals they are."

The Organization’s switch to the athletic wear portion is meant to highlight importance of physical fitness for young women. 

Halik said many young women are accustomed to being seen in active wear.

“I have been an athlete my entire life. As a member of a softball team and a competitive dance team, I spend a lot of time in athletic wear.”

The Miss USA competition has had an eventful year as it featured their first competitor with hearing disabilities and crowed an Army officer a winner.