The family of American sprinter and Olympic gold medalist Tori Bowie has spoken out after her tragic death at the age of 32.
Bowie was a track and field star who sprinted to victory at the 2016 Olympics.
She last competed on the world stage in 2019, at the World Championships in Qatar, but spent the last four years quietly in Florida.
She was found dead at her home in Winter Garden on Tuesday. Her cause of death has yet to be made public.
On social media, her grieving sister hinted at mental health problems.
“People who pretend to be happy have some of the saddest souls, and people who don’t try to convince the world they are happy have the most sincere souls, because they are content to be them for them and no one else.” she said. in a Facebook post.
American sprinter and Olympic gold medalist Tori Bowie has died at the age of 32
Tori’s sister Tamarra posted this cryptic message to Facebook yesterday, the day she was found
Tori with her sister Tamarra, who hinted at mental health issues that were to blame for her death
It is unclear whether Bowie lived alone in the house where was discovered yesterday.
Public records show she defaulted on the property in 2021. It was scheduled for foreclosure in 2022, but the auction was cancelled.
Bowie grew up in Sand Hill, Mississippi. Her mother dropped her and her sister off with foster care when she was a baby, but they were later adopted by their biological grandmother.
She attended Pisgah High School, where she began competing as a track athlete.
In a video after she rose to fame, she said she had struggled “all her life” but was inspired by her family and faith.
“I come from a small town called Sand Hill, Mississippi. where i’m from we shouldn’t succeed. It’s been a battle since day one. My biological mother dropped me off in foster care when I was two years old.
“My whole life has been a struggle. It’s great to hear it, it’s something I’ve always dreamed of. It’s humble. I’ve been through so much and I’ve never let anything beat me.
“I am a champion in that sense, not just on the track. I want to be there with Naomi Campbell, taking over the runway, not just the sport.
“We are blessed when we wake up and we get a whole new day to do something different. I feel like every day is a celebration for me.’
Police were called to her home in Winter Garden, Florida, yesterday, but no further details have emerged
Bowie enjoyed Adidas’s endorsements and starred in a Valentino ad campaign. The cause of her death remains unknown
American record holder and three-time world champion Noah Lyles led the Bowie tribute.
He responded to her management agency’s statement on Twitter, saying, “I can’t believe this.
“I just heard she’d be at her sister’s house and now this. This breaks my heart to hear and I will keep the family in my prayers.”
One of Bowie’s competitors, Jamaican Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce also paid tribute, tweetMy heart breaks for Tori Bowie’s family.
‘A major competitor and source of light. Your energy and smile will always be with me. Rest in peace.’
Her latest Instagram post alluded to a five-year absence from participating in athletic events
R0L: USA’s Aaliyah Brown, Allyson Felix, Morolake Akinosun and Tori Bowie (gold) pose with the medals in London 2017
Kenyan Olympic javelin thrower Julius Yego was one of the first to express his condolences, tweeting: “So devastating and shocking to hear of the passing of Tori Bowie
“The athletic world has lost a great champion and patriot of the sport, rest in peace Tori. Condolences to Tori Bowie’s extended family, together in prayers’
After winning the bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships, Bowie qualified for the U.S. Olympic team for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
There she qualified to race for Team USA in the finals of the 4x100m relay, 100m and 200m.
She won silver in the 100m sprint, finishing with a time of 10.83 and just behind gold winner Elaine Thompson of Jamaica who achieved a 10.71.
In the 200 metres, Thompson won gold again and Dutch Dafne Schippers won silver while Bowie finished with bronze.
But along with fellow sprinters English Gardner, Allyson Felix and Tianna Bartoletta, Bowie helped Team USA retain the gold in the 4x100m relay by running the anchor leg and beating Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Bowie followed that up with a bronze medal in the 200 meters – her only career medal in that event
She ran the anchor leg of Team USA’s victorious effort at the 2016 Olympics 4x100m relay
Numerous track athletes — including Bowie’s U.S. teammates — expressed their condolences
USA Track and Field also tweeted an official statement saying she will be greatly missed
Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, one of Bowie’s competitors, called her a “source of light”
American record holder and three-time world champion Noah Lyles led the Bowie tribute
A year later, at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics in London, she won the gold medal in the 100 meters and again in the 4×100 meters relay.
At the 2019 World Championships in Qatar, Bowie reached the semi-finals of the 100 meters but did not start after qualifying. She was not part of the women’s 4x100m team – Team USA finished third with an all new cast of Dezerea Bryant, Teahna Daniels, Morolake Akinosun and Kiara Parker.
Her last Instagram post from October 2019 showed a video competing in the long jump at that same event with the caption, “What a journey, what a journey… finishing 4th in the world considering I haven’t been there in 5 years been more. is a huge achievement for me!
Bowie was also successful on the world stage the following year, winning the 100 meters in London
She also helped the Americans regain the World Cup medal in the 4×100 meter relay in 2017
‘Let’s just say I’m looking forward to Tokyo! To all who are chasing their dreams, have courage and determination! I know I will.’
But according to data from the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Bowie did not qualify for the 100 meters, 200 meters or the long jump.
According to Runner’s WorldBowie had not competed since June 4 of last year, when she finished 5th in a 200-meter race in Florida.
In addition to her success on the track, Bowie was also a model on it.
She posed for ESPN The Magazine’s annual Body Issue and was featured in a Valentino campaign.
Bowie last competed on the world stage at the 2019 World Championships in Qatar