Fighting Illness, Student Crowned Miss America

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 25, 2009 8:40 AM CST
Miss Indiana Katie Stam, center, is crowned Miss America 2009 with host Mario Lopez, left, in Las Vegas on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009.    (Isaac Brekken)
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(Newser) – Katie Stam of Indiana was crowned Miss America last night, fighting off a throat infection, laryngitis, and 51 other contestants to win the 88-year-old pageant, the AP reports. The 22-year-old University of Indianapolis student drew loud applause for her rendition of "Via Dolorosa" during the talent portion of the pageant in Las Vegas, and strutted onstage in an off-the-shoulder, white lace evening gown.

During the interview portion of the competition she decried the use of performance-enhancing drugs among professional athletes and discussed the definition of glamor. "That beauty that you feel on the inside, it's that confidence, that radiance inside of you, that's what glamor is," Stam said. She won a $50,000 scholarship and hopes to become a television news anchor.