Friday, Aug. 29, 2008

A Jock and a Beauty Queen

Palin was born in Idaho but grew up in Alaska, and her hobbies — moose hunting, ice fishing, hiking — indicate a typical Alaskan upbringing. But it was her performance on the Wasilla High School basketball team that earned her the nickname "Sarah Barracuda"— supposedly because of her fiercely competitive nature. Palin, who played point guard, was the team's captain her senior year, and scored the final point — a free-throw — of the 1982 state championship game that Wasilla won against Anchorage. Two years later, in 1984, Palin, then 20, entered a local beauty pageant to earn college scholarship money. She was crowned Miss Wasilla — and Miss Congeniality — and went on to compete in the Miss Alaska contest, where she came in second. She graduated from the University of Idaho in 1987 with a degree in journalism, and worked briefly as a TV sportscaster in Anchorage and a commercial fisherman before pursuing a career in politics.