Suzy Favor Hamilton discusses post-Olympian life as escort

Suzy Favor Hamilton
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Suzy Favor Hamilton is discussing her life as an Olympian turned Las Vegas escort in advance of next week’s release of her book, “Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness.”

The three-time Olympic runner said she was bipolar and contemplated suicide after the birth of her daughter in 2005, according to Sports Illustrated and People magazine.

“Driving home, I prepared to drive my car into a tree,” she said, according to People. “I accelerated faster. But I was getting closer to home where my sweet baby girl was waiting. You have to stay alive for her.”

Favor Hamilton mentioned Olympic experiences in a book excerpt here.

A broadcast interview with Favor Hamilton will air on ABC’s “20/20” on Friday night at 10 p.m. ET, the network said.

It was revealed in December 2012 that Favor Hamilton, who retired from running in 2006, had spent the previous year working as a $600/hour escort in Las Vegas and other cities. Again, she said she contemplated suicide after she was outed.

“The next morning, my darkest thoughts were on a loop: I had shamed my parents, my husband, our family,” she said, according to People. “It would be better if I were dead.”

Favor Hamilton, now 47, has said she led the double life to cope with depression.

Favor Hamilton was best known before the December 2012 admission for the 2000 Olympic 1500m final, when she gave up the lead coming around the final curve and then collapsed to the track with less than 100 meters to go and in sixth place.

She had dedicated the race to brother Dan Favor, a manic-depressive who had committed suicide in 1999 after he stopped taking medication.

Years later, Favor Hamilton said she fell intentionally after realizing she would not win a medal.

“Falling down at the Olympics is where my spiral down started,” she said in the People interview published Wednesday. “I felt like such a failure.”

Favor Hamilton said the high of her escort life was greater than the high of running races and winning, according to Sports Illustrated.

“I still crave that high,” she said, according to People. “I can’t say I’ll never act out in that way again.”

MORE TRACK AND FIELD: Top 10 performances from World Championships

2022 Ironman Kona World Championships results

Ironman Kona World Championships
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2022 Ironman Kona World Championship top-10 results and notables (full, searchable pro and age group results are here) …

Pro Women
1. Chelsea Sodaro (USA) — 8:33:46
2. Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) — 8:41:37
3. Anne Haug (GER) — 8:42:22
4. Laura Philipp (GER) — 8:50:31
5. Lisa Norden (SWE) — 8:54:43
6. Fenella Langridge (GBR) — 8:56:26
7. Sarah Crowley (AUS) — 9:01:58
8. Daniela Ryf (SUI) — 9:02:26
9. Skye Moench (USA) — 9:04:31
10. Laura Siddall (GBR) — 9:07:49
16. Heather Jackson (USA) — 9:22:17
DNF. Sarah True (USA)

Pro Men
Race is on Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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Chelsea Sodaro wins Ironman Kona World Championship, ends American drought

Chelsea Sodaro
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Chelsea Sodaro was the surprise winner of the Ironman Kona World Championships women’s race, ending the longest American victory drought in the event’s 44-year history.

Sodaro, a 33-year-old mom to an 18-month-old, prevailed in an unofficial 8 hours, 33 minutes, 46 seconds on Hawaii’s Big Island.

“My mind is a little bit blown right now,” she said in a finish area interview 25 minutes later, standing next to her daughter, Skylar. “This is the culmination of things being right in my life and having perspective. … This is freakin’ incredible, but the greatest gift at the end of the finish line is my little 18-month-old.”

Sodaro was in fifth place after the 2.6-mile swim and 112-mile bike, then recorded one of the fastest 26.2-mile marathon runs in event history (2:51:45) to win by 7 minutes, 50 seconds over Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay.

Swiss Daniela Ryf, who was eyeing her sixth Ironman world title, led after the bike but faded quickly on the run.

MORE: Ironman Kona Race Results

Sodaro, whose lone previous full Ironman was a second-place finish at June’s European Championships (reportedly in the second-fastest Ironman distance debut in history), became the first American to win in Kona since Tim DeBoom in 2002 and the first American to win the women’s race since Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser in 1996.

She is the first woman or man to win in their Kona debut since Brit Chrissie Wellington took the first of her four titles in 2007.

Sodaro (née Reilly) was an All-America runner at Cal, then placed 19th in the 10,000m at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

She turned to triathlon in 2017, made podiums on the World Cup circuit (just below the top-level World Series for Olympic hopefuls) and moved up to long-distance racing in 2018.

At the half Ironman distance, she was fourth at the 2019 World Championships, her last major championship start before the pandemic, pregnancy, childbirth and a move up to the full Ironman this year.

“I’m pretty stoked that I think I maybe get to take the rest of the year off and be a mom for a month or so,” Sodaro said.

The pro men’s race is Saturday, live on Peacock at 12 p.m. ET.

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