INDIANAPOLIS, May 3 – The world of athletics is in mourning as three-time Olympic medalist Tori Bowie has passed away at the age of 32. The Mississippi native won gold in the 4x100m relay, silver in the 100m, and bronze in the 200m at the 2016 Rio Games.
Jamaican multiple world and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce posted on Twitter: “My heart breaks for the family of Tori Bowie. A great competitor and source of light. Your energy and smile will always be with me. Rest in peace.”
American veteran sprint 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 your for blessing us with her. The running community mourns an incredible loss.”
World Athletics also expressed sadness, saying: “World Athletics is deeply saddened by the passing of Tori Bowie, the 2017 world 100m champion and multiple Olympic medalist. Condolences go out to her family and friends.”
Meanwhile, two-time world 200m champion and US record holder Noah Lyles wrote on Twitter: “This breaks my heart to hear, and I will keep the family in my prayers.”
Tori Bowie’s Early Track and Field Career
Bowie’s impressive career began at Pisgah High School in Brandon, Mississippi, where she won state crowns in the 100m, 200m, and long jump in 2008. She then went on to win the NCAA indoor and outdoor titles in the long jump while competing for the University of Southern Mississippi in 2011. Bowie added a silver medal in the long jump at the NCAA outdoor meet the following year and was also a national qualifier in the 100m.
Bowie’s talents as a sprinter were soon evident when she reached the semifinals of the 100m at the 2013 USATF Championships. In 2014, she had Diamond League wins in Rome and Monaco, lowering her PB to 10.80 at the latter.
She earned her first Team USATF international berth with a runner-up finish in the long jump at the USATF Indoor Championships, making the long jump squad for the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Poland. Read more: Top field assembled to bring back Pre Classic Bowerman Mile magic
Bowie Takes Global Medals
In 2015, Bowie won her first USATF national gold medal with a victory in the 100m. She then focused her energies on the track, winning bronze in the dash at the World Championships in Beijing. In 2016, Bowie won the 200m at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene and was also third in the 100m in what would end up as her lifetime best of 10.78, setting the stage for her epic performance at the Rio Games.
Bowie won her heat and semi in the 100m and sped to a 10.83 to take silver in the final, where she lined up between Jamaican stars Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Four days later, she earned a bronze in the 200m final with a time of 22.15, which was held in the presence of Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands.
In the heats of the 4x100m relay, the Brazilian squad caused interference that required the U.S. team to do a solo time trial later that evening. Bowie replaced Morolake Akinosun on the anchor leg for the final, and the quartet clocked 41.77 to advance to the final. She ran a blistering final stretch to cross the line in 41.01 and give the U.S. gold in the second-fastest time ever.
Tori Bowie Strikes Gold At the World Championships
In 2017, Bowie won the USATF 100m title and took gold at the World Championships in London in 10.85 before again anchoring the 4x100m relay to victory. She also slashed her 200m PB to 21.77 to win the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene and earned a World Championships 200m berth with a third-place finish at the USATF Championships. However, she chose not to compete in that event in London.
Bowie’s final year of major international competition in 2019 saw her place fourth, just missing out on the long jump podium at the World Championships in Doha. She also competed in the heats of the 100m after qualifying as a wildcard due to her London victory in 2017.
Off the track, Bowie was also a successful professional fashion model, having walked the runway at Paris Fashion Week in 2019 for Y-3, a collaboration label between her athletic sponsor, adidas, and Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. She also featured in Valentino’s 2018 Resort campaign and collaborated with designer Stella McCartney.
Bowie’s sudden death has left the athletic community in shock and disbelief. The cause of her death has not been disclosed.
Bowie will always be remembered for her immense talent, determination, and grace both on and off the track. Her achievements have inspired countless athletes and fans around the world.
The athletics community extends its deepest sympathies to Bowie’s family and loved ones during this difficult time. Her legacy will live on, and she will be greatly missed.