Miss Supercars' Olympic heartache
A FORMER Olympic level gymnast whose shot at glory was dashed by back fractures has taken out this year's Miss Supercars title.
Darwin's Sophie Budack, 23, won with Gold Coaster Michaela Arnott, 22, runner-up and Brisbane's Nicole Hall, 26, second runner up.
Miss Budack, an aspiring sports journalist who prior to Miss Supercars had never modelled or entered any similar contests, said she had entered to build confidence.
Despite having no expectations, her wins secures a $25,000 prize package including $1000 cash and $4000 worth of public relations training.
"To be crowned the winner is something I could have only dreamt of," she said. "Is this actually happening?"
The former elite athlete had qualified for the Australian Olympics team to compete at the 2012 London Games but back fractures two months prior stopped her taking part.
"You live, eat and breath gymnastics, just like these Supercar drivers do. It was absolutely heartbreaking at the time but everything happens for a reason - one door closes, you open another," she said.
"If you had asked me a week ago if I thought I would doing this, no way."
Miss Budack said she wouldn't have entered if bikinis were still the norm during the swimwear section but Miss Supercars has ditched its famed chequered two-piece for a stylish one piece.
She said he can't go back to competitive gymnastics as her back wouldn't handle it.
Her specialty was vault: "I had stress fractures for quite a few years. It's very strenuous doing that repeatedly."
Coast oncology nurse Charlotte Cushing, last year's Miss Supercars winner, handed over her crown Saturday.