The family of American sprinter and Olympic gold medalist Tori Bowie have spoken out following her tragic death at the age of 32.
Bowie was found dead in her home in Winter Garden on Tuesday. Her cause of death is yet to become public.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said she was found at 1pm after someone called to request a welfare check at her home. No foul play is suspected, but her cause of death remains unconfirmed.
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 do not try to convince the world that they are happy have the most genuine souls, because they are content with just being them for them and nobody else,’ she said in a Facebook post.
Bowie grew up in Sand Hill, Mississippi. Her mother dropped her and her sister off at foster care when she was an infant, but they were later adopted by their biological grandmother.
She attended Pisgah High School, where she began competing as a track athlete.
Bowie was a track and field star who sprinted to glory in the 2016 Olympics. She last competed on the world stage in 2019, at the Qatar World Championships, but spent the last four years living quietly in Florida.
After winning the bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships, Bowie qualified for the US Olympic Team for the Rio Olympics in 2016.
There, she qualified to race for Team USA in the finals of the 4×100 meter relay, the 100m, and the 200m.
She won silver in the 100m dash, finishing with a time of 10.83 and just behind gold winner Elaine Thompson of Jamaica who snagged a 10.71.
In the 200m event, Thompson won gold again and Holland’s Dafne Schippers won silver as Bowie finished with the bronze.
But alongside 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 outlasting Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
A year later at the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London, she took home the gold medal in the 100m and again in the 4x100m relay.
At the 2019 World Championships in Qatar, Bowie made the semifinals of the 100m but did not start after qualifying. She was not part of the women’s 4x100m team – with Team USA finishing third with an entirely new cast of Dezerea Bryant, Teahna Daniels, Morolake Akinosun, and Kiara Parker.