On 2 May 2023, the lifeless body of athletics star Frentorish “Tori” Bowie, born on 27 August 1990, was found at her Florida home after Orange County deputies carried out a welfare check as she had “not been seen or heard from in several days”. Her cause of death remains unknown. Tori is a three-time Olympic medalist who won gold, silver and bronze in the Rio 2016 Olympics, and the year after won the 2017 IAAF World Championship in the 100m dash with a stunning comeback representing the United States of America.
Her death was confirmed in a statement on Wednesday by USA Track and Field: “We’ve lost a client, dear friend, daughter and sister,” the statement read. “Tori was a champion…a beacon of light that shined so bright!” no further details on the conditions of her passing were provided.
Her last appearance on the international stage was at the Qatar World Championships in 2019, Bowie competed in both the 100m and long jump, achieving fourth place in the long jump final with a leap of 6.81m. She last competed in a 200m race in Florida in June 2022.
“USA Track and Field is deeply saddened by the passing of Tori Bowie, a three-time Olympic medallist and two-time world champion,” said Max Siegel, CEO of USA Track & Field.
“A talented athlete, her impact on the sport is immeasurable, and she will be greatly missed.”
Tori won gold in the 4x100m relay, silver in the 100m and bronze in the 200m at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. She was medaled with double gold at the London 2017 IAAF World Championships, in 100m and 4x100m Relay. She also clinched a bronze in 100m at Beijing 2015 IAAF World Championships.
Born in Sand Hill, Mississippi, Bowie showed her track and field talent while at Pisgah High School and gained a scholarship to the University of Southern Mississippi. She then became the first athlete from the university to achieve an indoor and outdoor NCAA long jump title double in a single season, winning indoor gold in March 2011 and adding the outdoor crown in June of that year. She also competed in the sprints and the triple jump, leaping a PB of 13.09m in 2012.
Bowie began her professional career in 2013 and made her major international debut at the World Indoor Championships in Sopot in 2014, during a season in which she set her long jump PB of 6.95m.
She then switched her focus to the sprints, with great success, and ended the year as champion in the women’s 100m thanks to the 10.80 she ran to win at the Monaco Diamond League. She featured in the top five on the 100m season top list for each of the next three years.
FIRST GLOBAL MEDAL
During that period, Bowie improved her PBs to 10.78 in the 100m and 21.77 in the 200m and she won her first global medal at the World Championships in Beijing in 2015, clocking 10.86 behind winner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and silver medallist Dafne Schippers. That was the start, as Bowie won five World and Olympic medals at the next two outdoor global championships.
Fraser-Pryce was among those to pay tribute, writing: “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.”
Bowie’s USA teammate Noah Lyles, the two-time world 200m champion, wrote: “This breaks my heart to hear and I will keep the family in my prayers.”
While USA’s multiple world long jump champion Brittney Reese wrote: “I’m so heartbroken over this. You have made a lot of us proud, thank you for representing our state of Mississippi like you did. RIP.”
Credit: AIPS Media