US Olympic medalists tori bowie and Calvin Davis have died within days of each other, dealing a shocking blow to the American track-and-field community.
Bowie, a three-time Olympic medalist who took gold in the 4x100m as a member of the US relay team at the 2016 Rio Games, died Wednesday at age 32.
On the same morning Bowie’s death was confirmed, World Athletics announced that Davis, who won bronze for the US in the 400m hurdles at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, had died two days earlier, on May 1, at age 51.
No cause of death has been confirmed for either Bowie or Davis.
Bowie remembered as a “beacon of light”
Bowie’s management company, Icon Management, confirmed the sprinter’s death in a statement on Twitter.
“We’re devastated to share the very sad news that Tori Bowie has passed away,” reads the tweet. “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.”
“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
USA Track and Field says it is “deeply saddened” by Bowie’s loss. “Her impact on the sport is immeasurable, and she will be greatly missed,” the organization said in a statement.
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
Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is among a number of Bowie’s contemporaries sharing their condolences online. A former track rival of Bowie’s, Fraser-Pryce tweeted that her “heart breaks for the family of Tori Bowie. A great competitor and source of light. Your energy and smile will always be with me. Rest in peace.”
My heart breaks for the family of Tori Bowie. A great competitor and source of light. Your energy and smile will always be with me. Rest in peace.
—ShellyAnnFraserPryce (@realshellyannfp) May 3, 2023
us sprinter Noah Lyle also reacted: “I can’t believe this. I had just heard word of her her going to be with her sister her back home and now this. This breaks my heart to hear and I will keep the family in my prayers.
I can’t believe this. I had just heard word of her her going to be with her sister her back home and now this. This breaks my heart to hear and I will keep the family in my prayers.
— Noah Lyles, OLY (@LylesNoah) May 3, 2023
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.
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.
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.
Davis earned bronze in Atlanta
Davis, according to an obituary posted by World Athletics, was born in Eutaw, Ala., and attended Dorchester High School, where he was active both as a track athlete and a football player. He went to Wallace State Community College before transferring to the University of Arkansas.
At U of A, Davis won the 1993 NCAA 400m outdoor title in New Orleans in 45.04. He won his third NCAA title as part of Arkansas’ distance medley relay squad in 1994. In 1995, Davis was on the winning team in the 4x400m at the World Indoor Championships in Spain, where he placed sixth in the individual 400m.
Davis made his 400m hurdles debut the following year. He finished third at the US Championships in Atlanta in 48.32 to take his place on the team for the Olympic Games the following month. Davis ran 47.96 in the final at the 1996 Games, taking bronze behind US teammate Derrick Adkins and Zambia’s Samuel Matete.
Davis competed at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton and later focused on coaching.