U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Tori Bowie Dead at 32: ‘A Great Competitor and Source of Light’
Bowie won three medals at the 2016 Olympic Games, anchoring Team USA to a gold medal in the 100-meter relay
Olympic track and field champion Tori Bowie has died, her representatives have shared. She was 32.
The three-time Olympic sprint medalist’s death was confirmed through a social media statement from her management company on Wednesday morning.
“We’re devasted to share the very sad news that Tori Bowie has passed away,” the company, Icon Management, tweeted. “We’ve lost a client, dear friend, daughter and sister. Tori was a champion…a beacon of light that shined so bright! We’re truly heartbroken and our prayers are with the family and friends.”
USA Track and Field also mourned Bowie’s death in a post, sharing an image of the Mississippi native smiling and holding up an American flag.
“USATF is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Tori Bowie, a three-time Olympic medalist and two-time world champion,” the organization tweeted. “Her impact on the sport is immeasurable, and she will be greatly missed.”
Bowie helped the U.S. win gold in the 100-meter relay at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Meanwhile, she won silver in the 100-meter sprint and bronze in the 200-meter at the 2016 Games.
Bowie won gold in the 100-meter race at the IAAF World Championships the next year, while also helping the U.S. retain gold in the 100-meter relay.
Bowie was raised by her grandmother in the small town of Sandhill, Mississippi after she was left at a foster home, according to The Associated Press. She envisioned herself playing basketball before she was persuaded to try track, quickly excelling at the sport, winning state championships in the 100-meter, 200-meter and long jump events.
She later attended college at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she became a three-time All-American and won two long jump titles in both indoor and outdoor events in 2011.
After winning her three medals at the 2016 Games, Mississippi made November 25 “Tori Bowie Day,” an honor she called “special” and “humbling.”
“I’ve never even thought about anything like this,” Bowie told The Hattiesburg American then. “It’s like back in Sandhill, they have a sign right when you turn inside [the campus at Pisgah High, her alma mater], they actually have a sign, it says ‘Tori Bowie Lane.’ To see things like that and like this, it’s just like miracles, I guess.”
Olympians from around the world mourned Bowie’s death Wednesday.
“My heart breaks for the family of Tori Bowie,” tweeted Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who was one step behind her in both the 100-meter relay and 100-meter sprint at the 2016 Games. “A great competitor and source of light. Your energy and smile will always be with me. Rest in peace.”