us sprinter tori bowie‘s death at age 32 was the result of complications during childbirth at her Florida home, according to an autopsy report by the Orange County Medical Examiner Office.
The report, obtained by USA Today, says Bowie was carrying a “well-developed fetus” at about eight months into her pregnancy when she died during labor at her home in Winter Garden, Fla. Her body was discovered May 2 as part of a welfare check by sheriff deputies, who were responding to reports of a woman who had not been seen for several days.
The medical examiner ruled Bowie’s death as “natural” and said complications during labor could have included eclampsia and respiratory distress. (Eclampsia is characterized by seizures related to a spike in blood pressure during pregnancy and can lead to coma, brain damage and death if not treated, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation. The foundation describes the condition as rare in the developed world and is “usually treatable if appropriate intervention is promptly sought.”)
Bowie was a three-time Olympic medalist who took gold in the 4x100m as a member of the US relay team at the 2016 Rio Games. In addition to topping the podium in the relay in Rio, Bowie captured silver in the 100m and bronze in the 200m at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
“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 shone so bright! We’re truly heartbroken and our prayers are with the family and friends. pic.twitter.com/ES83SjM7u4
— Icon Management Inc. (@iconmanagement) May 3, 2023
The news of her death last month dealt a shocking blow to the track-and-field community in the United States and around the world. “We’ve lost a client, dear friend, daughter and sister,” Icon Management, Bowie’s management company, said in a statement confirming her athlete’s death. “Tori was a champion…a beacon of light that shone so bright! We’re truly heartbroken and our prayers are with the family and friends.”
Originally from Sand Hill, Miss., Bowie attended Pisgah High School. There, she earned state titles in the 100m, 200m, 4x10m relay and long jump. Earning a full athletic scholarship at the University of Southern Mississippi, she twice won gold in the long jump at the NCAA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championship. According to her official bio at USA Track and Field, Bowie was the first athlete from the University of Southern Mississippi, male or female, to sweep the long jump NCAA titles at both the indoor and outdoor events in a single season, a feat she accomplished between 2011 and 2010.
USATF is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Tori Bowie, a three-time Olympic medalist and two-time world champion.
Her impact on the sport is immeasurable, and she will be greatly missed. pic.twitter.com/AHu5SejZ5N
— USATF (@usatf) May 3, 2023
Bowie bookended her triumphs in Rio by taking bronze in the 100m at the 2015 World Athletic Championships in Beijing, and topping the podium in the 100m at the World Championships in London in 2017.