Suzy Favor Hamilton, Prostitute and Former Olympian, Stripped of Award
A little over a half of a year after former Olympian and legendary Big Ten track athlete Suzy Favor Hamilton was first exposed as a call girl, she's now being stripped of more than just her clothes. The Big Ten's female athlete of the year award will no longer be named after Hamilton.
Late last year it was revealed that Hamilton, a three-time Olympian as well as a three-time Big Ten female athlete of the year for Wisconsin, had been operating as a high-priced prostitute for an organization called Haley Heston's Private Collection. Before the news broke, only her husband knew of her secret life.
"He tried, he tried to get me to stop. He wasn't supportive of this at all," Hamilton said. "I take full responsibility for my mistakes. I'm not the victim and I'm not going that route. Everybody in this world makes mistakes. I made a huge mistake. Huge."
Hamilton's story did not break until she disclosed her identity to several of her clients, who in turn told others. Hamilton, who had gone by the name "Kelly Lundy," was also running a real estate brokerage as well as doing motivational speeches. For her, being a call girl was less about the money (though her going rate was $600 an hour) and more about the experience.
"I realize I have made highly irrational choices and I take full responsibility for them. I am not a victim here and knew what I was doing. I was drawn to escorting in large part because it provided many coping mechanisms for me when I was going through a very challenging time with my marriage and my life. It provided an escape from a life that I was struggling in. It was a double life," tweeted the former track star.
Reportedly, Hamilton had already been planning to leave the Heston agency when the story first came out. Since that time she has been a novelty and the butt end of more than a few humiliating jokes. She has claimed that her actions were the result of trying to escape anxiety and severe postpartum depression, among other ills.
"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 depression. As crazy as I know it seems, I never thought I would be exposed, therefore never hurting anybody. I have been seeking the help of a psychologist for the past few weeks and will continue to do so after I have put things together," she also said while stating her case on Twitter.
Hamilton was easily one of the most dominant women in track towards the end of the 20th century. She won three straight Big Ten female athlete of the year awards starting in 1988, and won seven U.S. women's national titles, the last one coming in 1999.