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Olympic gold medalist Tori Bowie died from pregnancy complications
Composite screenshot of New York Post and Olympics YouTube videos

Olympic gold medalist Tori Bowie died from pregnancy complications

Six weeks ago, TheBlaze reported that Tori Bowie, an elite sprinter who had won a gold medal at the Rio Summer Olympics, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 32. Now, an autopsy has revealed that Bowie died from complications of pregnancy.

On May 2, deputies from the Orange County Sheriff's Office conducted a wellness check at a home in the Orlando suburb of Winter Garden after receiving reports that a woman in her 30s "had not been seen or heard from in several days." When deputies arrived, they found Bowie deceased in her bed.

At the time of her death, Bowie was about eight months pregnant and had been "undergoing labor," the New York Post reported. Reports suggest that Bowie may have been experiencing some pregnancy-related conditions, including respiratory distress and eclampsia.

According to the National Institutes of Health, eclampsia is a serious disorder that occurs when a pregnant woman has seizures or even falls into a coma as a result of high blood pressure. It can even be fatal for a woman and her unborn child. Bowie's unborn baby was said to be "well developed" and is believed to have died along with Bowie.

The medical examiner ruled that Bowie died of natural causes. There have been no reports that she was married or that she had other children.

Though grieving, family and friends seem grateful that the swirl of rumors regarding Bowie's untimely death will soon end. "Unfortunately, so many people, including the media, are making speculations that she did something to herself, which is very hurtful," claimed her agent, Kimberly Holland. "So hopefully, now knowing the truth, there will be many apologies."

While modern medicine has had tremendous success in reducing maternal mortality rates in the U.S., as recently as 2021, there were still almost 33 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births. Black women born in the U.S. are at an even higher risk, experiencing nearly 70 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births and having higher rates of pre-eclampsia, which leads to eclampsia in 3% of cases, than their Hispanic and white counterparts. In 2018, Bowie's Rio teammate, Allyson Felix, who is also black, had to have an emergency C-section at 32 weeks because of complications of pre-eclampsia.

Bowie grew up in a small town in rural Mississippi. Though initially a basketball player, she soon switched to track and field, excelling in sprints and the long jump in particular. She won the NCAA championship for the long jump in both indoor and outdoor track while attending the University of Southern Mississippi.

In 2016, she traveled to Rio de Janeiro to represent the U.S. in the Summer Olympics. While there, she earned two individual medals: a bronze in the 200m and a silver in the 100m. She also ran anchor in the 4x100m relay team, which took home gold.

USA Women's 4x100m Relay wins goldyoutu.be

In 2017, Bowie officially became the fastest woman in the world when she ran the 100m dash in just 10.85 at the IAAF World Championships in London. She finished fourth in the long jump at the 2019 World Championships, which appears to have been her final international competition.

In recent weeks, many have remembered Bowie as a fierce competitor and a kind person. Amna Nawaz, a PBS co-anchor, called her "an American hero," while Icon Management, which represented Bowie, tweeted that "Tori was a champion…a beacon of light that shined so bright!"

"A great competitor and source of light," tweeted Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a track and field star from Jamaica. "Your energy and smile will always be with me. Rest in peace."

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@cortneyweil →