Tori Bowie, the 100m silver medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2017 world champion, has died at the age of 32, USA Track and Field and her management company said on Wednesday.
Bowie, who also won an Olympic 200m bronze and gold in the 4x100m relay at the Rio Games, was found dead at her home by police on Tuesday.
“USATF is deeply saddened by the passing of Tori Bowie, a three-time Olympic medalist and two-time world champion. A talented athlete, her impact on the sport is immeasurable, and she will be greatly missed,” the federation’s chief executive, Max Siegel, said in a statement.
“We’re devastated to share the very sad news that Tori Bowie has passed away. We’ve lost a client, dear friend, daughter and sister,” Icon Management tweeted.
A cause of death was not immediately known. The Sheriff’s Office in Orange County, Florida, said deputies had found the woman “tentatively identified as Frentorish ‘Tori’ Bowie” dead in a home when conducting a well-being check.
“On May 2, 2023, at about 1 p.m., deputies responded to a home in the 5400 block of Bowman Drive to conduct a well-being check of a woman in her 30s who had not been seen or heard from in several days,” the sheriff’s office, located in Orlando, said in a statement.
“Entry was made into the residence and 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.”
Bowie, raised by her grandmother in rural Mississippi, converted from the long jump in 2014 and became the fastest woman in the world that year.
Two years later in Rio, she prevented a Jamaican clean sweep of the 100m medals when she finished second to Elaine Thompson in a time of 10.83sec with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce third.
Bowie also finished third in the 200m and anchored the US sprint relay quartet to gold in Rio.
Then in 2017, she won the world 100m title in London.
She spoke to the Hattiesburg American newspaper in Mississippi about the hero’s welcome she received in her home state after her Olympic exploits — when the governor declared November 25, 2016, “Tori Bowie Day.”
“It’s like back in Sand Hill, 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,'” she told the newspaper.
“To see things like that and like this, it’s just like miracles, I guess.”
Bowie remains the lone American woman to win an Olympic or world 100m title since Carmelita Jeter in 2011.
Bowie re-entered the long jump and came fourth at the 2019 world championships in Doha, her last major competition.
Fraser-Pryce, the Jamaican reigning world 100m champion, tweeted: “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.”
US Olympic athlete Lolo Jones also paid tribute to Bowie on Twitter, calling her an “incredible talent” and “A beautiful runner.”
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said in a statement he was “Shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Olympic gold medallist Tori Bowie.
“In this moment of grief, let me express my heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. The sports world has lost a true champion.”