Transcript for Why Suzie Favor Hamilton Says She Collapsed at 2000 Sydney Olympics
"20/20" continues with fast girl. Once again, Elizabeth vargas. Watching me. Reporter: The whole world was watching and what it was about to witness would change Suzy's life forever. Favor-hamilton,n I seem distress. Trying to hang. O does look gd. Reporte stay wi us.od go at. Eat por. E is perrmance leer boost oductrinthe Xu Le is tur00bo and 00 a 36.wd E isthe hainver S Mo perreful. Once drin, others no goi back. Quickly turn to self-doubt. What is it like to walk out and see that -- a crowd that big, a stadium that big? It's 120,000 people. They're screaming. They're yelling. You've never heard sound like this ever before. All this pressure, this pressure is yours. You own the moment. Reporter: Or you don't. When I got to the starting line, I just wanted to vanish. Can this nightmare be over? This is the worst thing in the entire world. And Suzy, you're an idiot for not speaking up. I couldn't tell anybody. Reporter: Couldn't tell them what? I couldn't tell them I don't want to be in this race. Reporter: The starting gun goes off. Yeah. Reporter: How does she look? She's up front. The gun went off, I took off, which is not the thing you want to do in an olympic final. You want to hang back, let somebody else do the work. I thought she had it. I thought that Suzy favor-hamilton was finally going to win her olympic gold medal. I'm leading the race, which I can't believe, and in total panic, total anxiety panic attack with 200 meters to go. It's like running with cement blocks on your legs attached to you. I think you start seeing her form disappear with about 250 to go. And with 200 to go, you can see -- you just know what's coming. And one after another after another are passing her. You can just tell it's over. She's not going to be first. She's not going to be second. She's not going to be third. And that dream of having an olympic medal was gone. And instead of finishing the race, like most runners would, I told myself, "Just fall." Into the home straightaway. She's fallen down. Reporter: Under the pitiless gaze of the television cameras, Suzy favor-hamilton collapses, tumbling to the red turf. I was just worried about her. Reporter: Did you think she'd been hurt? I just thought, "She is in pain." Reporter: She faints as her fellow runners try to help. It is a performance worthy not of olympic gold, but of Oscar gold. It was all an act. I pretended I was injured. And I remember thinking, again, "You're the worst person in the world. Look at what you just did. You blew it. You're an idiot." Reporter: How long did you keep the story alive that you were injured and not that you deliberately fell? For a long time. A long, long time. What was waiting for her at that finish line in Sydney, should she cross first? The TV shows, the -- the parade, the commercials. Reporter: Cereal box covers. Yes. Oh, wheaties, you name it. It was all there for her. She cannot get there. For every athlete who wins an olympic medal, there's an athlete that's put on the discard pile who we never hear from again. Reporter: Suzy returns to Wisconsin. Beaten and ashamed, she's a runner turned recluse. Did you feel humiliated? Yes. I was so embarrassed. I didn't want anybody to see me. I had a hat on. I couldn't even go my grocery store for -- gosh, it took me weeks before I could leave the house. Reporter: It's Suzy favor-hamilton's last ditch attempt at greatness. She's at the starting line at the women's 1500 in the Sydney olympics. So now, 2000, she's mature. She's been around before. She ows kne drthl atil the ympiolgamec S.E D anheisshor F titave. At the starting line, I felt the whole entire world was watching me, everybody in the had just lost my brother the enormous pressure to win again for my family, to take that pain away. And my name to honor my brother. Reporter: Pre-race jitters she couldn't let her go. She couldn't go out of the house. She'd become really irritable. Reporter: What did it look like? Ugly. It was just anger. I saw anger for the first time in her. And I saw her withdrawn. And that's not her. Reporter: Outside the home, Suzy's trademark smile is evident at speaking engagements and appearances at local sports camps. But once again, it's all an act. Mark insists his wife get medical help and after some trial and error with various antidepressants, Suzy believes she's found one that worked, zoloft. It did not take long for zoloft to make me feel really good. Not just good. Really good. I'm talking amazingly good. Reporter: What were you doing that was out of character? I was so outgoing. Like, over the top outgoing. Reporter: Things continued to go downhill on the home front. When mark and Suzy aren't fighting, they aren't speaking. Had the two of you lost your spark, your attraction for each other? Oh, yeah. I was not very attracted to my wife, and I know she felt the same. We needed a spark to the relationship. Reporter: Suzy suggests a trip to Las Vegas for the couple's 20th wedding anniversary. But she has something more in mind than slots and the Celine Dion show. First, a day of skydiving. I had no desire to jump out of an airplane. Reporter: But the new and improved Suzy is surprisingly game. The moment I fell out of that airplane, I felt like, "This is my element." Reporter: Number two on Suzy's list is less exotic and more erotic. A threesome with a female escort. So we decided, "Well, why don't we try a threesome?" Reporter: A threesome? Yeah, it was something we had talked about. Reporter: Forgive me, but that's not on most people's bucket list. It was more me than him. Caught me off-guard. Reporter: Was any part of you shocked? Absolutely. Two things I -- I never thought we would do, you know, quite frankly. Reporter: At this point, mark is willing to try anything to fix the marriage and agrees to the night of taboo. So you're in the hotel room, and there's a knock on the door. Yeah. Reporter: What's going through your mind? Scared to death. Reporter: Really? Yeah, just nervous as all get-out. She comes in. Looks like the girl next door. And it was a fun, great experience. You had only in your whole life sexually been with your husband. Absolutely. Reporter: What was it like to have this other woman and this hour in bed with the three of you? I, kind of, felt like, "Why isn't everybody else doing this? Why isn't everybody living life to the fullest?" Reporter: The couple pays a hefty sum to live one night to the fullest, and eventually returns to Wisconsin. Mark thinks it was just a slide into depression. As years go by, husband and wife attempt to embrace a lower profile in America's heartland. It is a daily struggle. Suzy, the one time cover girl, is ow R neduced to a single image on the couple's website for their local real estate business. I its a job she dreads, and the St marriage. Although there is joy
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