In the 90's, Suzy Favor Hamilton was the darling of American Track and Field.
She was the All-American beauty, she won nine NCAA track titles and was a three time Olympian.
She even started getting major endorsement deals. But it all ended in the 2000 Olympics when she admitted to faking an injury because she was losing.
After that, Suzy went down a dark path that ended with her becoming a popular high end escort in Las Vegas.
In her new book ‘Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running From Madness’, she talks about how this all happened.
Facts about Suzy Favor Hamilton (Source: Wikipedia)
Favor Hamilton began running at age nine. She attended and competed at Stevens Point Area Senior High, graduating in 1986. Coached by Peter Tegen, she became one of the top middle distance runners in the USA in the 1990s. Competing for the University of Wisconsin she won 9 NCAA championships and a silver medal in the 1989 World University Games. She won four USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and three USA Indoor Track and Field Championships all in the 1500 metres.
In 1991 and 1992, Favor Hamilton was a volunteer assistant cross country coach at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Favor Hamilton competed in the Summer Olympics in 1992, 1996 and 2000. She finished 11th in her qualifying round race in the 1500 metres in 1992, 4th in her qualifying race in the 800 metres in 1996. She made the finals of the 1500 metres in 2000 with the second best qualifying time (1/100th of a second slower than the best by the eventual winner) and led into the final lap of the final.
Favor Hamilton confessed that she deliberately fell on the track and feigned injury during the women's 1500m race at 2000 Summer Olympics after seeing she was losing the race and would not win a medal.
In December 2012, after being confronted by a reporter from The Smoking Gun, Favor Hamilton admitted that she worked as an escort prostitute. She had started with Haley Heston Private Collection in December 2011, using the name "Kelly Lundy." The investigative report also noted the Hamilton household did not appear to be experiencing any financial difficulties.
According to Favor Hamilton, her husband Mark knew about her prostitution and repeatedly objected to it because of the strain it placed on their marriage and negative effects it could have on their daughter. Favor claims her decision to become a prostitute was made under the influence of her antidepressant medication, a misdiagnosis of her bipolar disorder, and an unfamiliarity with the mental illness. In a series of tweets regarding her work as an escort, she wrote that it provided an 'escape', and that 'I do not expect people to understand... the reasons for doing this made sense to me at the time...'
In an interview with ABC News, Favor Hamilton said, "I had lost control after that first appointment. I wanted more." She had learned from her therapist that the antidepressant she was taking lifted her mood to the point of putting her in a manic state, saying "It wasn't Suzy. I keep trying to emphasize that wasn't me. It was the disease."
After her prostitution was exposed to the public, the Big Ten renamed the award for Female Athlete of the Year which had previously carried her name. Favor Hamilton also lost several sponsorships, including one with the Rock 'n' Roll marathon and half marathon franchise. Other notable businesses such as Nike severed ties with Favor as well.
‘Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running From Madness’ is in bookstores now.'
Follow Suzy Favor Hamilton on Twitter: @favorhamilton