Social Navigation

American sprinter, Olympic medalist Tori Bowie dies at age 32


Tori Bowie, the sprinter who won three Olympic medals at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016, has died. She was 32.

Bowie’s death was announced on Wednesday by its management company and USA Track and Field. No cause of death was given.

“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 talented athlete, her impact on the sport is immeasurable, and she will be sorely missed.”

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando, Florida, deputies came to an area home Tuesday afternoon “for a welfare check on a woman in her 30s who had not been seen or heard from in several days.”

The sheriff’s office wrote that a woman “preliminarily identified as Frentorish “Tori” Bowie (Birth: 8/27/1990) was found dead in the home. There were no signs of foul play.”

Growing up in Sandhill, Mississippi, Bowie was persuaded to take to the track as a teenager and quickly rose as a sprinter and long jumper. She attended Southern Mississippi where she won the 2011 NCAA long jump championships in the indoor and outdoor events.

Bowie delivered a stellar performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, winning silver in the 100m and bronze in the 200m.

A year later she won the 100 meters at the 2017 World Championships in London. She also helped the 4×100 team to gold.

“She was a very enthusiastic, bubbly personality,” said track coach Craig Poole, who worked with Bowie early in her career and later on again. “She was a lot of fun to work with.”

The athletic community took to social media to mourn the loss of Bowie. The Jamaican sprint sensation Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce posted on Twitter: “My heart breaks for Tori Bowie’s family. A major competitor and source of light. Your energy and smile will always be with me. Rest in peace.”

Added American hurdler Lolo Jones: “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 is mourning an incredible loss.”

Brittney Reese, a three-time Olympic medalist in the long jump, wrote, “I am so heartbroken about this… You have made many of us proud, thank you for representing our state of Mississippi as you did… RIP!”

Bowie was taken in by her grandmother as a baby after being left in foster care. She considered herself a basketball player and only reluctantly showed up for the job, but Bowie learned quickly and became a state champion in the 100, 200 and long jump before attending college.

Her first major international medal was a bronze medal in the 100 meters at world championships in 2015. After winning, she said, “My grandmother has told me all my life that I could do whatever I set my mind to.”

In a post on Twitter, Icon Management posted a photo of Bowie holding her 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 shone so brightly! We are truly heartbroken and our prayers are with the family and friends.”


AP National Writer Eddie Pells contributed to this report.


More AP Olympics: en

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.