A  Disney World spokesperson said Hamilton had not been paid by the company for appearing at a Disney running event in Orlando last February.  Disney has cancelled Hamilton's appearance at a Disney running event in Anaheim next August.

Asked about the future of the Suzy Hamilton Athlete of the Year Award, Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman said, "At this time, we have no comment."

Hamilton long had capitalized on her good looks, which got her national ads with several companies.

In 1997, she did a Suzy Favor Hamilton calendar with a cover that had pictures of her in both running gear and a bikini. There were other photographs of her in skimpy attire inside the calendar.

She was the most decorated athlete in NCAA track and field history. In 2007, the organization honored Hamilton as its outstanding female track and field student-athlete of the quarter-century since women’s college sports fell under NCAA purview.

After her college career ended in 1990, she was less successful as a runner. Hamilton still has four of the 10 fastest U.S. times in the 1,500, but she advanced past the first round in just one of her three Olympic appearances and did not make the final in either of her two world meets.

Throughout her running career, Hamilton battled a series of psychological issues. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last summer, she talked about dealing with anxiety, self-doubt, eating disorders and, eventually, post-partum depression after the birth of her daughter, now 7.

Sydney wasn’t Hamilton’s first panic attack, just the most dramatic.

“In some ways, I’m glad it happened,” she said in 2001. “That’s when I realized I had to get help.”

More than a decade later, she is in that position again.

phersh@tribune.com

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