U.S. Olympic Medalist Tori Bowie Died from Complications During Childbirth, Autopsy Report Confirms

by Xara Aziz
YouTube screenshot via E! News

Following a Shine My Crown report on the untimely passing of three-time U.S. Olympic medalist and champion sprinter Tori Bowie, it has been confirmed that she died from complications during childbirth, her agent said. 

An autopsy report obtained by USA Today Sports revealed that the 32-year-old was undergoing labor while she was eight months pregnant and said that she had possible complications of respiratory distress and eclampsia, a condition where high blood pressure results in seizures during pregnancy.

Before her cause of death was confirmed, her agent Kimberly Holland told CBS News that speculation over how Bowie died was

“very hurtful. So hopefully, now knowing the truth, there will be many apologies.”

At the time of her death, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to a call to check on the “well-being of a woman in her 30s who had not been seen or heard from in several days.” The woman was “tentatively identified as Frentorish ‘Tori’ Bowie” and “was found dead in the home.”

“We’ve lost a client, dear friend, daughter and sister,” Icon Management tweeted after her death was announced in May. “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.”

Born and raised in Mississippi, Bowie quickly rose the ranks in the world of track and field following her two state high school championship wins in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and the long jump. She also won three state titles in the 4×100 relay.

Throughout her 20s, she won two NCAA long jump championships while at Southern Mississippi in outdoor and indoor track in 2021. Before then, she won three Olympic medals at the 2016 Rio Games, taking silver in the 100-meter dash, bronze in the 200-meter dash and gold as the anchor for the 4×100 relay along with Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix and English Gardner.

Bowie also clinched the top win at the 100-meter dash and 4×100 relay during the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London. Two years prior, she won bronze in the 100-meter dash at the 2015 championships in Beijing. She came in fourth place in long jump at the 2019 World Championships in Qatar.

The news comes on the heels of recent reports about Black women, who are three times more likely to die from childbirth complications.

According to Population Reference Bureau, “in the United States, Black-white disparities in maternal mortality—deaths related to pregnancy or childbirth—may be larger than previously reported, new research shows. Closing the gap involves addressing structural racism—that is, those aspects of social, political, economic, and health care systems that reinforce inequity, researchers say. Because pregnancy is riskier to women’s health than abortion, state initiatives to restrict abortion could lead to more deaths, particularly among Black women, new estimates suggest.”

Learn more about childbirth among Black woman and tips and resources to deliver a healthy baby while staying safe here.

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