3-Time Olympic Sprint Medalist, Tori Bowie, Dies From Childbirth Complications – She Was Just 32 Years Old

The track and field community is mourning the loss of Tori Bowie, who represented the US at the 2016 Summer Olympics and won three Olympic medals in her career. She was eight months pregnant and just 32 years old at the time of her death, which was believed to be caused by complications during childbirth. 

Her death was initially revealed by her management company on May 3, who took to Twitter to share the devastating news. “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,” they said in the tweet, shocking the Olympic community.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department conducted a welfare check on the 32-year-old on May 2 – no one had heard from her in days and people were growing worried. Authorities confirmed there were no signs of foul play, but an exact cause of death would be revealed at a later date by the coroner’s office.

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On Tuesday (June 13), several media outlets obtained the autopsy report for Tori Bowie – which was released by Florida’s Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office earlier this week. According to the report, Bowie had a ‘well-developed fetus’ in her womb and was undergoing labor at the time of her tragic death. 

Her death was ruled natural and the coroner’s office credits childbirth complications – citing ‘respiratory distress and eclampsia’ – as the catalyst behind the death. Eclampsia is a type of hypertensive disorder of pregnancy that’s characterized by high blood pressure and normally occurs after the 20-week mark. 

Tori Bowie began her professional track and field career in 2013 at the age of 22. She qualified for the 2016 Olympics and competed in the 100m dash (bronze medal), 200m dash (silver medal), and 4x100m relay (gold medal) – which she won with Allyson Felix, English Gardner, and Tianna Bartoletta.  

She also won a bronze medal in the 100m dash at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing and won two gold medals (100m dash and 4x100m relay) at the 2017 World Championships in London. She last competed in the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, where she finished fourth in the long jump. 

Tori Bowie Wasn’t Performing a Home Birth

Tori Bowie’s agent, Kimberly Holland, spoke with CBS News on Wednesday (June 14) and discussed her client’s death, which sent shockwaves through the track and field and Olympic communities. Holland confirmed Bowie’s unborn baby didn’t survive, which adds to the tragedy that unfolded one month ago.

While Tori didn’t trust hospitals, Holland says she wasn’t performing a home birth at the time of her death and that the last conversation she had with her client was in preparation of the child’s birth. “I can only imagine now how that must have been. Painful. It hurts. Also to know that there’s no baby,” she said. 

She went on to call out the media and anyone else spreading false rumors and speculating on her death – adding that some reports suggest Tori Bowie did something to herself, resulting in her death. She hopes the truth results in ‘many apologies’ being made – that way, family and friends can mourn in peace. 

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Tori Bowie received a lot of attention after winning three Olympic medals in 2016. Among the many honors she received, Southern Miss and Hattiesburg made November 25 ‘Tori Bowie Day.’ “It’s special. Humbling, I should say. I’ve never even thought about anything like this,” she said of the honor.

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