Human Interest Gracie Hunt, Daughter of Billionaire KC Chiefs Owner, Competes at Miss USA 28 Years After Her Mom "I want little girls to look up at me when I'm on that Miss USA stage and say, 'Oh my gosh, she's so strong, she's healthy, she has muscles, and I want to be just like her,'" says Gracie Hunt By Joelle Goldstein Joelle Goldstein Twitter Joelle Goldstein is a TV Staff Editor for PEOPLE Digital. She has been with the brand for five years, beginning her time as a digital news writer, where she covered everything from entertainment news to crime stories and royal tours. Since then, she has worked as a writer-reporter on the Human Interest team and an associate editor on the TV team. In her current role, Joelle oversees all things TV and enjoys being able to say she has to watch The Kardashians, Dancing with the Stars and America's Got Talent for "work". Prior to joining PEOPLE, Joelle was employed at The Hollywood Reporter. She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Television-Radio (and an appearance in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four!) People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 22, 2021 07:00 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Gracie Hunt is following in her mom's footsteps and making a powerful statement along the way. Earlier this year, Gracie — who is the daughter of Clark Hunt, the owner, chairman, and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs, and granddaughter of team founder Lamar Hunt — was crowned Miss Kansas USA 2021. The accomplishment came 28 years after Gracie's mom, Tavia Hunt, won the same title back in 1993. Tavia went on to place as the second runner-up at the Miss USA pageant, which Gracie is set to compete in on Nov. 29. With just one week to go before the big day, Gracie, 22, says she is leaning on her mom for support as she sets her sights on winning the crown. "She tells me, 'Just be you. You are enough,'" Gracie tells PEOPLE (the TV Show!) host Kay Adams in Monday's episode. "It's really nice to get to walk down a road with someone who has been down that path before. It really has just bonded us so much." Miss California USA Allyshia Gupta Reveals She's Had Lyme Disease for 24 Years: 'I Was Fearful' Though Gracie will soon be on one of the biggest pageantry stages in the world, she admits she didn't always dream of competing in them. "Soccer was my first love," she says. "I wanted to play in college. I won the championship when I was in high school with my high school team, and played club, as well." "After suffering four concussions, that was a dream that I could no longer pursue, which is really hard when you work your entire life to be good at something," she continues. "I had to find a new dream." (L-R) Tavia Hunt, Gracie Hunt, Clark Hunt. Gracie Hunt After taking up pageants, Gracie started using her voice to be an advocate for health and fitness — a cause that is personal for her, having lived with celiac disease her entire life. "I've known what it feels like to be really sick and to not know why. ER sick, on morphine sick, super sensitive to gluten and my parents couldn't figure it out. The doctors couldn't figure it out," she says. "That really inspired me to become as educated as I could and get my nutrition accreditation." She also founded the Breaking Barriers Through Sports nonprofit, which brings people together from every walk of life to play sports, and is partnering with the Special Olympics on a Special Olympics flag football Super Bowl. RELATED VIDEO: Miss America Eliminates Swimsuit Competition: 'We Are No Longer a Pageant' In order to prepare for the Miss USA competition, Gracie has put in a lot of work physically and mentally — something she feels people don't always realize is necessary. "Pageantry is a sport, there's so much that goes into it behind the scenes that you might not realize or know whether it's interview prep, walking prep," she explains. "Learning to walk on a stage in those heels is something that I did not realize the skill it took until I got myself into it, especially having come off of the soccer field, wearing cleats all the time." "I love starting my day off with a sweat," continues the Breaking Barriers Through Sports founder. "I still train really hard, I'm an athlete at heart and love to run, lift weights, cross-train. And from there, [it's] all the works. It could be working with one of my coaches doing interview prep." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Though there are several parts to the Miss USA competition, Gracie feels the controversial swimsuit portion is perhaps one of the most important, especially given her platform and message. "I think the swimsuit competition shows that no matter what size or shape you come in, you can be the healthiest you that you can be," she explains. "I want little girls to look up at me when I'm on that Miss USA stage and say, 'Oh my gosh, she's so strong, she's healthy, she has muscles, and I want to be just like her.' " Gracie Hunt. Gracie Hunt "It's not about being skinny or trying to conform to what the world tells you is beautiful," she adds. "It's about being the best you that you can be each and every day while pursuing health." The 2021 Miss USA Pageant will be streaming live on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. ET on FYI and Hulu Live TV. Catch People (the TV show!) Monday through Friday. Check your local listings for exact times or stream the show every day at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT at People.com and PeopleTV.com.