Suzy Favor Hamilton, Nike Pre Classic 2003,
Suzy Favor-Hamilton is one of the most successful American women middle distance runners of the past two decades. An Olympian in 1992, 1996 and 2000, Suzy Favor-Hamilton came within a 200 meters of an Olympic medal in 2000, in the 1,500 meters.
Before that, Suzy Favor ran for the University of Wisconsin, under the watchful eyes of Coach Peter Tegen. Tegen was the architect of the women’s track & field program at UW Madison, developing the likes of Cindy Bremser, Kathy Butler and Suzy Favor-Hamilton. At the University of Wisconsin, Favor won 20 Big Ten Championships. In fact, the Big Ten Women’s award is names after Suzy Favor-Hamilton.
A tough competitor, Favor-Hamilton moved into her own realty business with her husband, Mark, had a daughter and made 50-60 motivational appearances a year, speaking to groups at Disney, Rock N Roll Marathons and the esteemed FootLocker series.
Favor-Hamilton is admired by fans, and athletes, young and old. She was in high demand as a motivational speaker by corporations who supported various running events. Suzy Favor-Hamilton should have been on top of the world. But, that is not how she saw the world she inhabited.
Meb Keflezighi and Suzy Favor-Hamilton at
RNR Viva Las Vegas promotional event,
photo by PhotoRun.net
Suzy Favor-Hamilton surprised most of her friends, family and admirers, when it was announced, in several media sources today, that she had worked for a high-end escort service for the past 18 months. Favor-Hamilton, who had worked under a nom de plum, told several of her clients who she really was, and one reached out to a media service.
This story broke on the web this morning and it is trending on every digital medium. RBR received a call from a major newspaper today, as they were trying to digest the story.
RBR was called this morning, and asked about Favor-Hamilton’s fall from grace, literally within an hour of the story breaking on thesmokinggun.com and deadspin.com, two of the most accurate new media sites. Favor-Hamilton admitted to the reporters what she had done, and took full responsibility for her actions. She also explained her life in excruciating detail.
RBR is a track & field site, and not a gossip blog. However, Ms. Favor-Hamilton’s fall from grace, we believe, has much to do with Favor-Hamilton’s personal demons. The loss of her brother, who had been troubled for several years, and very close to Favor-Hamilton, to suicide in 1999 was very difficult for Favor-Hamilton, as it would have been for anyone.
Such traumatic issues, not recognized, and not dealt with, through, counseling, in some cases, medication, and much hard work, will come back and haunt the person for years to come. In several pieces on this story, Favor-Hamilton suggests that depression had much to do with her so-called double-life.
The story is riveting, and terribly sad, as Favor-Hamilton tells all, letting the chips fall where they may. All one can do is hope that Suzy Favor-Hamilton finds a way to cope with her demons and that her family, friends and supporters continue to support her.
Again, not one to judge, but this will be all over the TV pundits by tomorrow. America does love to take a hero from the top of th
e mountain to the lowest point in the gutter with excruciating speed.