Tori Bowie, the sprinter who won three Olympic medals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, has died. She was 32 years old.
Bowie’s death was announced Wednesday by his management company and USA Track and Field. No cause of death was given.
“The USATF is deeply saddened by the passing of Tori Bowie, a three-time Olympic medalist and two-time world champion,” USA Track and Field CEO Max Siegel said in a statement. “A gifted athlete, her impact on the sport is immeasurable. And we will miss her very much.”
According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando, Florida, deputies responded Tuesday afternoon to a home in the area “for a wellness check on a female in her early 30s who had not been seen or heard from.” in several days.”
The sheriff’s office wrote that a woman, “tentatively identified as Frentorish “Tori” Bowie (DOB: 8/27/1990), was found dead in the home. There were no signs of foul play.”
Growing up in Sandhill, Mississippi, Bowie was coaxed into track as a teenager and quickly rose through the ranks as a sprinter and long jumper. He attended southern Mississippi, where he swept the NCAA long jump championships in the indoor and outdoor events in 2011.
Bowie turned in an electric performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he won silver in the 100 and bronze in the 200. He then ran the main stage in a 4×100 team with Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix and English Gardner to take gold. .
A year later, he won the 100m at the 2017 world championships in London. She also helped the 4×100 team to gold.
“He was a very enthusiastic and sparkling personality,” said track trainer Craig Poole, who worked with Bowie early in his career and again later. “It was a lot of fun working with her.”
The athletics community mourned the loss of Bowie on social media. Jamaican speed sensation Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce posted on Twitter: “My heart breaks for Tori Bowie’s family. A great competitor and light source. Your energy and smile will always be with me. Rest in peace.”
American hurdler Lolo Jones added: “Too young. Gutted to hear about Tori Bowie. Incredible talent. A beautiful runner. I pray for the comfort of her family, thank you for blessing us with her. The running community mourns an incredible loss.”
Brittney Reese, a three-time Olympic medalist in the long jump, wrote: “I’m so heartbroken about this… You’ve made so many of us proud, thank you for representing our state of Mississippi the way you did… RIP!”
Bowie was taken in by his grandmother as a baby after being placed in foster care. She considered herself a basketball player and only begrudgingly showed up for track, but she Bowie was a fast learner and she became a state champion in the 100, 200 and long jump before going to college.
His first major international medal was a bronze in the 100m at the 2015 world championships. After winning, he said, “All my life my grandmother told me I could do whatever I set my mind to.”
In a post on Twitter, Icon Management included an image of Bowie raising his hands in the shape of a heart. The management company wrote: “We have lost a client, dear friend, daughter and sister. Tori was a champion…a beacon of light that shined so bright! We are truly heartbroken and our prayers are with family and friends.”
AP National Writer Eddie Pells contributed to this report.
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