Suzy Favor Hamilton

Suzy Favor Hamilton
Personal information
Birth name Suzy Favor
Nationality American
Born (1968-08-08) August 8, 1968
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Residence Manhattan Beach, California
Height 5 ft 3 3⁄4 in (1.62 m)
Weight 110 lb (50 kg)
Spouse(s) Mark Hamilton
Sport Running
Event(s) Middle distance running
College team University of Wisconsin

Suzy Favor Hamilton (born August 8, 1968) is an American former middle distance runner. She competed in the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Summer Olympics.

Early life and education

Suzy Favor was born in 1968 to Conrad and Rachel (Skundberg) Favor in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.[1][2] Her brother Dan Favor committed suicide in 1999.[3][4] She graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1991.[5]



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[6] and three USA Indoor Track and Field Championships[7] all in the 1500 metres.

In 1991 and 1992, Favor Hamilton was a volunteer assistant cross country coach at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.[8][9][10] Favor Hamilton competed in the Summer Olympics in 1992, 1996 and 2000. She finished 11th in her qualifying round race in the 1500 meters in 1992, 4th in her qualifying race in the 800 meters in 1996. She made the finals of the 1500 meters 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.[11]

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.[12][13]


In December 2012, after being confronted by a reporter from The Smoking Gun, Favor Hamilton admitted that she worked as an escort prostitute.[14][15][16][17] She had started with Haley Heston Private Collection in December 2011,[18] using the name "Kelly" (sometimes identified as "Kelly Lundy").[19] 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[20] 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.[21] 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...'[22][23]

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."[24]

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.[14] Favor Hamilton also lost several sponsorships, including one with the Rock 'n' Roll marathon and half marathon franchise.[25][26] Other notable businesses such as Nike severed ties with Favor as well.[27]

She is now a speaker at several mental health conferences, and wrote her memoir Fast Girl[28][29] about healing from bipolar disorder. [30]

Personal life

While a freshman in college, she met Mark Hamilton, then a pitcher on the university baseball team. The two married a week after she graduated. Favor Hamilton lives in Manhattan Beach, California.[31] She has one daughter.[32]


  1. O'Brien, Richard (June 11, 1990). "Wisconsin's Suzy Favor doubled at the NCAAs". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  2. "Favored Status : Marketing Focus on Hamilton's Looks Has Benefits, but It Doesn't Always Go Over With Her or Her Opponents". Los Angeles Times. July 9, 1992. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  3. "Suzy Favor Hamilton Talks about Her Brother's Suicide, Facing Her Own Darkness". Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  4. "Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton says she's worked as an escort". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  5. "She's Adjusting to Living Life On the Run : Track: After a busy year, former Wisconsin middle-distance standout Suzy Hamilton is hopeful that she will be in top form at Olympic Trials". Los Angeles Times. September 6, 2000. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  6. "USA Outdoor Track & Field Champions". USA Track & Field.
  7. "USA Indoor Track & Field Champions". USA Track & Field.
  8. "BaseballAtlanta Braves - Activated OF Deion...". Baltimore Sun. September 25, 1991. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  9. "Unheralded Boakes Takes Miami Mile". Sun Sentinel. January 20, 1992. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  10. "Names In The Game". Associated Press. September 23, 1991. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  11. "Suzy Favor Hamilton". SR/Olympic Sports.
  12. Hegarty, Stephanie. "Should athletes prepare for defeat?".
  13. Longman, Jere (October 1, 2000). "Sydney 2000: Women's 1,500; A Mysterious Fall by Favor Hamilton". The New York Times. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  14. 1 2 "Suzy Favor Hamilton's name stripped from Big Ten award". USA Today. July 2, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  15. "U.S. Olympian's Secret Life As Las Vegas Escort". The Smoking Gun. December 20, 2012.
  16. "Report: Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton worked as high-priced escort". Los Angeles Times. December 21, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  17. "Former Olympian Cites Depression for Taking Job as Escort". The New York Times. December 20, 2012.
  18. "Suzy Favor Hamilton". December 22, 2012. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  19. "Suzy Favor Hamilton". Ten Minute Interviews. 2016-07-28. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  20. "Suzy Favor Hamilton says she has worked as escort". ESPN. December 21, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  21. "Olympian Turned Vegas Escort Suzy Favor Hamilton: Why I Was Having Sex for Money". ABC "20/20". September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  22. "Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton: 'Why I Became A $600/hr Hooker'". Reality Today. August 28, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  23. "Disgraced Olympic track star exposed as Las Vegas call-girl reveals she thought about suicide after her double life was uncovered". Daily Mail. August 27, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  24. "Olympian Turned Vegas Escort Suzy Favor Hamilton: Why I Was Having Sex for Money". ABC "20/20". September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  25. "Suzy Favor Hamilton: Disney Cuts Ties With Ex-Olympian Turned Escort". December 21, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  26. Coker, Matt (July 3, 2013). "Suzy Favor Hamilton, Olympic Runner Barred as Disneyland Marathon Promoter Due to Her Paid-Escort Services, is Deep-Sixed by Big Ten". Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  27. "Hamilton, Big Ten sports icon, admits to working as call girl". Chicago Tribune. December 21, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  28. Favor Hamilton, Suzy; Tomlinson, Sarah (2015). Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness. Harper Collins. ISBN 9780062346223.
  29. "Harper Collins". Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  30. "Elle Magazine". Crash of the Titan. April 23, 2013.
  31. "Suzy Favor Hamilton (@favorhamilton) | Twitter". Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  32. "Olympian Favor Hamilton finds true gold". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. July 21, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2014.

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