Suzy Favor
Personal information
Full nameSuzy Favor Hamilton
Born (1968-08-08) August 8, 1968 (age 55)
Stevens Point, Wisconsin, U.S.
Height5 ft 3 3⁄4 in (1.62 m)
Weight110 lb (50 kg)
EventMiddle-distance running
College teamUniversity of Wisconsin
Achievements and titles
Personal bestMile: 4:22.93
1500m: 3:57.40
Medal record
Women's Athletics
Representing the  United States
Silver medal – second place 1989 Duisburg 1500 m
Pan American Junior Championships
Gold medal – first place 1984 Nassau 1500 m
Gold medal – first place 1986 Winter Park 1500 m

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] She graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1991.[3]



Favor began running at age nine. She attended and competed at Stevens Point Area Senior High, graduating in 1986. She was the US Junior Record Holder at 1500m and won 3 National Junior Titles in High School. She was named by Scholastic Sports magazine as one of the top 100 High School Athletes of the Century and was inducted into the US National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

At the University of Wisconsin, she won the Honda Cup and Babe Zaharias Awards for Top Female Collegiate Athlete in the country. She was named by the Big Ten Conference as the top Female Athlete in Conference History. Coached by Peter Tegen, she became one of the top middle-distance runners in the US in the 1990s. She won a record nine NCAA championships, 32 Big-Ten championships and a silver medal in the 1989 World University Games. She won four USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships[4] and three USA Indoor Track and Field Championships[5] all in the 1500 meters.

In 1990, she won the Honda Sports Award as the nation's best female collegiate track and field athlete. In 1991, she won the Honda Sports Award in the top female cross country runner category.[6] In addition, she was awarded the Honda-Broderick Cup, given to the nation's best overall female collegiate athlete.[7][8][9]

In 1991 and 1992, Favor was a volunteer assistant cross country coach at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.[10][11][12]

Competing professionally, Favor competed in the Summer Olympics in 1992, 1996 and 2000, finishing 11th in her qualifying round race in the 1500 meters in 1992, and 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). Though she led into the last lap of the final,[13] she later revealed that she deliberately tripped on the track after fading in the stretch.[14][15]


In December 2012, after being confronted by a reporter, Favor Hamilton admitted that she had worked as an escort.[16][17][18][19] Favor has said that her decision to become an escort was made under the influence of her antidepressant medication, a misdiagnosis of her bipolar disorder, and with the full involvement of her now-ex-husband.[20] She cited the effects of the suicide of her brother, Dan, in 1999, on her condition.[21][22] She had learned from her therapist that the antidepressant she was taking had put her in a manic state, saying "It wasn't Suzy. I keep trying to emphasize that wasn't me. It was the disease."[20] In the immediate aftermath of her escorting becoming public, the Big Ten renamed its award for Female Athlete of the Year which had previously carried her name.[16] Favor Hamilton also lost several sponsorships and athletic business relationships, including with Nike.[23][24][25] However, Favor subsequently was inducted into the inaugural class of the Collegiate Athletics Hall of Fame, along with athletes such as Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Steve Prefontaine. [26] She is now an artist and wrote her memoir Fast Girl[27][28] about healing from bipolar disorder.[29]

Personal life

Favor married Mark Hamilton, then a pitcher on the university baseball team in 1991; they were divorced in 2021.[30] Favor has one daughter.[31] Favor lives in Hermosa Beach, California.[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. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "USA Outdoor Track & Field Champions". USA Track & Field. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011.
  5. ^ "USA Indoor Track & Field Champions". USA Track & Field.
  6. ^ "Cross Country". CWSA. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  7. ^ Gambaccini, Peter (September 10, 2015). "Suzy Favor Hamilton Ruled on the Track". Runner's World. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  8. ^ "Past Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Winners (Honda Cup)". CWSA. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  9. ^ "Track & Field". CWSA. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  10. ^ "BaseballAtlanta Braves - Activated OF Deion..." Baltimore Sun. September 25, 1991. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  11. ^ "Unheralded Boakes Takes Miami Mile". Sun Sentinel. January 20, 1992. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  12. ^ "Names In The Game". Associated Press News. September 23, 1991. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  13. ^ "Suzy Favor Hamilton". SR/Olympic Sports. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020.
  14. ^ Hegarty, Stephanie (July 30, 2012). "Should athletes prepare for defeat?". BBC News.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ a b "Suzy Favor Hamilton's name stripped from Big Ten award". USA Today. July 2, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  17. ^ "U.S. Olympian's Secret Life As Las Vegas Escort". The Smoking Gun. December 20, 2012.
  18. ^ "Report: Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton worked as high-priced escort". Los Angeles Times. December 21, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  19. ^ "Former Olympian Cites Depression for Taking Job as Escort". The New York Times. December 20, 2012.
  20. ^ a b "Olympian Turned Vegas Escort Suzy Favor Hamilton: Why I Was Having Sex for Money". ABC "20/20". September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  21. ^ "Suzy Favor Hamilton Talks about Her Brother's Suicide, Facing Her Own Darkness". Archived from the original on December 31, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  22. ^ "Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton says she's worked as an escort". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  23. ^ "Suzy Favor Hamilton: Disney Cuts Ties With Ex-Olympian Turned Escort". December 21, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ "Hamilton, Big Ten sports icon, admits to working as call girl". Chicago Tribune. December 21, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  26. ^ "USTFCCCA Announces Creation of Collegiate Athlete Hall of Fame". April 14, 2022. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
  27. ^ Favor Hamilton, Suzy; Tomlinson, Sarah (2015). Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness. Harper Collins. ISBN 9780062346223.
  28. ^ "Harper Collins". Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  29. ^ "Elle Magazine". Crash of the Titan. April 23, 2013.
  30. ^ "Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton Ditches Social Media, Stays Mum on Her Divorce". May 29, 2021.
  31. ^ "Olympian Favor Hamilton finds true gold". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. July 21, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  32. ^ "Suzy Favor Hamilton (@favorhamilton) | Twitter". Retrieved May 11, 2016.