Tori Bowie, a sprinter who won three medals at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the next year won the world championship in the 100-meter dash with a stunning comeback, has died. She was 32.
Her death was confirmed in a statement on Wednesday by U.S.A. Track and Field, which provided no other details.
The Orange County, Fla., sheriff’s office said in a statement that its personnel went to a house in Winter Garden, Fla., on Tuesday to check on a woman in her 30s who had not been seen or heard from in several days. They entered the home and found the body of a woman, whom they tentatively identified as Frentorish “Tori” Bowie. The statement said “there were no signs of foul play.”
At the 2016 Olympics, Bowie won a gold medal in the 4×100 relay, anchoring a team with Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix and English Gardner that finished the race with a time of 41.01. She won the silver medal in the 100-meter dash and bronze in the 200-meter.
The U.S. relay team advanced to the Olympics final only after winning an appeal of a ruling that would have disqualified them for dropping a baton in a qualifying race. The American runners were allowed a rerun after Olympic officials decided that a Brazilian runner had interfered with Felix as she was about to hand off the baton to Gardner.
To make it to the finals, the U.S. team had to run alone on the track in a time trial and do so faster than the slowest qualifier for the finals. They did, recording the fastest time that day, and went on to win the gold with Bowie as anchor.
Bowie’s world championship title came the next year in London, in a dramatic 100-meter race. Marie-Josée Ta Lou of Ivory Coast had sprung into the lead and seemed well ahead of the rest of the pack. But Bowie accelerated, caught up to Ta Lou and leaned through the finish line ahead of her before tumbling to the ground.
“I think it was more of a lean, and, you know, I just lost control of it,” Bowie told an interviewer from the BBC after her win, adding that the fall came from “just wanting to win so bad.”
She won one more gold at that world championship, in the 4×100 relay.
Her sister, Tamarra Bowie, who also ran track, told Vogue magazine in 2018, “Tori has a second gear that nobody else has.”
Frentorish Bowie was born on Aug. 27, 1990. Her grandmother raised her in Sand Hill, Miss., a small town outside Jackson. She graduated in 2008 from Pisgah High School in Brandon, also in the Jackson area, where she played basketball, ran track and competed in the long jump.
Bowie went to the University of Southern Mississippi, where she became the national champion in the long jump in 2011. She graduated in 2012 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies.
She placed fourth in the long jump at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in 2019. She also worked as a model.
Her survivors include her sister.
Kirsten Noyes contributed research.