Suzy Favor Hamilton, who represented the United States three times at the Olympics, was back in the spotlight for an entirely different reason on Thursday. Her secret life as an escort was revealed, and now she deserves privacy to move forward.
Jere Longman of the New York Times compiled quotes from past interviews Favor Hamilton conducted, in which she discussed the outside pressure on her shoulders. But her most important thoughts were about trying to reconstruct her life:
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. I cannot emphasize enough how sorry I am to anyone I have hurt as a result of my actions and greatly appreciate the support from family and those closest to me. I fully intend to make amends and get back to being a good mother, wife, daughter, and friend.
Her focus is clear and the public shouldn't stand in her way. The story has taken on a life of its own since word began to spread on Thursday, and that's made a difficult situation even tougher on the former middle-distance star.
The added attention will only make it harder for her to make any type of progress in her personal life. She's the center of attention again after being out of the spotlight for a decade, and the intense scrutiny will have a negative impact.
Perhaps the best sign is how she's take responsibility for her mistakes instead of trying to avoid the controversy by denying the allegations or solely blaming others for her situation.
Being an athlete in a sport like running, which is dominated by Olympic results, is a challenge. Since there's no professional league to fall back on, everything is riding on an opportunity that comes every four years.
When somebody like Favor Hamilton falls short of their goal, it's easy to see how the failure can have a major impact on their life. That's why these type of life-altering stories have become more unfortunate than shocking over the years.
The longer people dwell on it, the more hurdles Favor Hamilton will have to jump in order to get her life back where she wants it. Privacy is crucial at times like this, but people who hold, or in her case once held, star status rarely receive it.
It's a personal situation and should be handled as such, with no outside influence or pressure.