Suzy Favor Hamilton runs the Women's 1500M at the Olympic Stadium in Homebush Bay.(Photo: ROBERT DEUTSCH, USA TODAY Sports)
Three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton sent shock waves through the
running community Thursday by admitting she led a double life, secretly
working as a call girl who earned $600 an hour for a Las Vegas escort
In a story first reported by The Smoking Gun, the
44-year-old wife and mother from Wisconsin described her call girl work
as "exciting." She used an alias but revealed her identity to several
clients, The Smoking Gun wrote. She said her husband, Mark Hamilton, knew of her work as a call girl in the last year but didn't support it.
news of the story spread, Favor Hamilton wrote on Twitter that she made
"highly irrational choices and I take full responsibility."
not a victim here and knew what I was doing," she wrote, adding the
escort business provided coping mechanisms during a challenging time in
her marriage. "I do not expect people to understand, but the reasons for
doing this made sense to me at the time and were very much related to
Sports officials expressed shock. "There's an old expression, 'You're
as sick as your secrets.' This is a big one," said Nancy
Hogshead-Makar, senior director of advocacy for the Women's Sports
Foundation, while offering her condolences to Favor Hamilton. The
foundation studies how sports influences girls' lives, including sexual
behavior. "It is the exact opposite of this behavior," Hogshead-Makar
USA Track and Field and the U.S. Olympic Committee had no
comment. Calls to Favor Hamilton's real estate agency in Madison were
One of the most decorated middle-distance runners in
NCAA history, she won nine national titles for Wisconsin. After being
Big Ten female athlete of the year three times, the conference named the
award after her. The Big Ten declined to comment.
Favor Hamilton went on to make the U.S. Olympic team in the 1,500 in 1992 and 2000 and in the 800 in 1996.
a medal contender in the 1,500 final at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Favor
Hamilton collapsed on the last lap. She later told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she fell on purpose because she wasn't going to win a medal in honor of her brother, who had committed suicide.
Hamilton was paid to make appearances at Rock 'n Roll Marathon events
to teach runners as part of its legends program. Tracy Sundlun, senior
vice president of Competitor Group, said it had not been discussed
whether she would continue. "My guess is no," said Sundlun, who has
known Favor Hamilton for almost 30 years.
She also was a special
guest at a couple of Disney running events, said Andrea Finger, a
spokesperson for Walt Disney World Resort. Finger confirmed that Disney
had canceled a scheduled appearance by Favor Hamilton for a running
expo next August.
Sundlun said he met Favor Hamilton when she was a
teen competing at the national scholastic indoor championships. He said
she was "inspirational" to marathon runners who came out to hear her
Said Sundlun: "Other than this one step off the pier, this is a truly classy person."