Mr. Hugh Hefner died. I never met this man in person. But I had a glimpse of what it’s like to be a Bunny. In autumn 1983 the PSA Men’s World Championship of Squash took place in Munich. The qualifying rounds were held in different Squash Centers in Germany, one was the Kaifu Lodge in Hamburg. The organizers knew, that Squash is not really the ideal game to show on TV and this happening was supposed to be broadcasted worldwide. So they thought abot something to attract the media and came up with – tadaa! – a Contest: The Miss World Squash Contest.
From each participating Squashcenter for the qualifying rounds girls were invited to apply for the contest. I was working in a Squashcenter in my hometown on those days and that center was connected to the Kaifu Lodge. My boss Tim Truntschnig had pictures taken of me, I was quite a good player at that time. Next thing I knew was us driving to Hamburg for a presentation of the Championship and Tim broke the news to me, that I was one of the lucky 16 selected finalists travelling to Munich to enter the contest – me still thinking we were talking Squash.
In Hamburg the organizers of the PSA Men’s World Championship explained, that one of the main sponsors of the Miss Contest would be Playboy and if I would mind because they coincidently happened to have one of those bunny costumes with them…
To cut a long story short: That’s how this picture was taken. And my boss, obviously proud of what he had brought to the presentation, placed his hands and smiled sheepishly. I was quite naive then, you can tell, because I didn’t even had high heels to put on, I had never seen a woman wearing a bodysuit like this. It was fun though and the gesture my boss made on this picture to me is more a protective one than a sexist one, he was always extremely concerned about us girls working in his center. He was my Squash trainer too, a tough one, made me strong and win quite a few matches. Good memories!
I went to Munich, met the other 15 girls, turned out, only a few were more or less able to play this fascinating sport so we had to give lessons to the less fortunate ones. Because: We had to play a tournament against each other, I was right in the end. Then the main sponsor of the Miss-Contest, represented by the advertising director of the german Plaboy edition, Wolfgang Robert, interviewed each contestant. And one of the questions was: Would you undress in front of the camera? I remember beeing the only one that said no, absolutely not and never.
For whatever reason I won this contest (the World Championship by the way was brought home by Jahangir Khan) and the main prize was, yes, a fotoshooting (paid) for the famous Playboy centerfold. I will not get into details, why on earth they would let the only girl win a nudity including fotoshooting that would not undress for no money in the world. It was part of the mis(s)-organisation I guess. A few other things went terribly wrong but in all we had a lot of fun and I met women that until today are very important to me. One of them is the wonderful and stunningly beautiful Petra Campbell, she became Vice-Miss World Squash, played better than me, looked far better and was very successful as a model in those days. She became a journalist, an investigative one and is always fighting for human rights, for the earth, for life. I admire her deeply.
Playboy had to carry on with this fotoshooting with me, it took place in January 1984, poor photographer nearly went over the moon to persuade me to undress. Unsuccessful. I never saw the pictures he took anyway, which is sad, because we had a good time and I’m sure the photos were awesome. The whole story bathered me, so back in my little hometown I sat down, thought myself to be very important and wrote a letter to Mr. Hugh Hefner. Basically complaining and trying to tell him, that he should take care of events like that, held in the name of his company, so the reputation of Playboy would not be harmed.
He never answered me, but the letter went right back to Wolfgang Robert, who clearly was not not amused and called me. He then invited me to an event, of which he was certain was better organized, because there he would be really in charge. Fair enough I thought and accepted, what turned out to be the annual invitation for customers of the Bauer-Verlag, then the editing company that published the Playboy Magazine in Germany. I went to this skiing weekend in Zürs and when I had to push the sofa in front of my door and chairs under the doorknob of the terrace window I understood, why this event had the nickname «bunny hunt» («Hasenjagd»). Yes, I was still very naive.
Over all it was tons of fun, I met amazing people during those few weeks (like this one), made friends for a lifetime and learned an awful lot. And: I am still Miss World Squash, because the contest was never held again.