Who was Tori Bowie? US Olympic champion dies aged 32 in childbirth

Tori Bowie died in her Florida home due to complications from childbirth, an autopsy into the death of the sprinter has confirmed.

The long jumper and world champion sprinter was found dead in Orlando in early May aged 32. No cause of death was initially given.

USA Today Sports reported on Tuesday it had obtained the autopsy report while an online obituary stated she had been predeceased by her daughter Ariana. It had not been initially reported that she was pregnant.

The Orange County Medical Examiner's Office report stated that Bowie had been eight months pregnant at the time of her death. It said she was in the process of giving birth when she died.

The report, according to USA Sports Today, said the possible causes of death included respiratory distress and eclampsia - which can cause seizures and strokes.

Bowie’s death caused a shock to the community when her representatives at Icon Management confirmed the news.

The agency tweeted: “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. Tori was a champion…a beacon of light that shined so bright! We’re truly heartbroken and our prayers are with the family and friends.”

But who was Tori Bowie and what is her legacy?

Who was Tori Bowie?

Frentorish ‘Tori’ Bowie started her athletics career as a long jumper and set a world-class personal best distance of 6.91m in 2014.

But, shortly after, she began to make a name for herself as a sprinter, too, and made the US 100m team for the 2015 World Athletics Championships in Beijing, where she won bronze.

She had an even more successful campaign at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, where she won 100m silver, 200m bronze, and gold alongside the US team in the 4x100m relay.

Long live the champ, the sister, the daughter, the model and so much more!

Athlete Will Claye

But her crowning achievement was an individual gold she won in London at the World Athletics Championships in 2017. In a dramatic 100m race, she ran down leader Marie-Josee Ta Lou to become champion by 0.01 of a second.

After the race, a delighted Bowie told the BBC: “It’s a wonderful feeling… I’m so happy. I feel like the hard work has finally paid off. I couldn’t be any more happy, tonight is perfect.

“I am so grateful. Tonight has been one of the greatest nights of my life.”

Bowie was unable to defend her title in 2019 but did come fourth in the long jump.

She has competed sparingly in recent years, with her last result being a 200m run in her native Florida last year.

Who has paid tribute to Tori Bowie?

Some of the biggest names in women’s athletics history ran or jumped against Tori Bowie and were often beaten by her.

Her longtime rival Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a multiple Olympic and world 100m champion, said: “My heart breaks for Tori Bowie’s family. A great competitor and source of light.

“Your energy and smile will always be with me. Rest in peace.”

Brittney Reese, a long jump legend and teammate of Bowie, tweeted: “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.”

“So sad to hear the devastating news about Tori Bowie,” wrote Brianna McNeal, the 2016 Olympic women’s 100m hurdles champion. “May her soul rest eternally.”

Men’s long and triple jumper Will Claye tweeted: “This hurt… Long live the champ, the sister, the daughter, the model and so much more!”

Governing body World Athletics wrote in a short statement: “Condolences go out to her family and friends.”