World champion sprinter and three-time Olympic medalist Tori Bowie has passed away at the age of 32, her management team and USA Track and Field each confirmed on social media Wednesday.
The Orange County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office said its deputies were conducting a welfare check at a home in Winter Garden, Florida at about 1 p.m. on Tuesday after receiving reports that a woman in her early 30s “had not been seen or heard from in several days.” They found the woman, identified as Bowie, deceased in her home.
The shocking death of Bowie has gotten even more tragic after The Daily Mail just reported that the Olympic gold medalist was pregnant when she died. Authorities haven’t provided any details about a possible cause of death, but it’s clear that Tori’s life was cut far too short.
Neighbors say Tori was heavily pregnant at the time of her death.
“She was a thin woman, and it looked like she had half a basketball under her shirt,” one person said, estimating her to be between seven and eight months pregnant. The 32-year-old sprinter rose to fame after winning several medals, including a gold, a silver, and a bronze at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
While we don’t know yet if Bowie died while in premature labor, we do know that there are disparaging statistics against pregnant Black women.
Each year in the United States, hundreds of women die during pregnancy or in the year after. Thousands more have unexpected outcomes of labor and delivery with serious short- or long-term health consequences. Every pregnancy-related death is tragic, especially because more than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable. Recognizing urgent maternal warning signs, providing timely treatment, and delivering respectful, quality care can prevent many pregnancy-related deaths.
Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women. Multiple factors contribute to these disparities, such as variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias. Social determinants of health prevent many people from racial and ethnic minority groups from having fair opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health.
“She was a very enthusiastic, sparkling personality,” Bowie’s one-time coach Craig Poole told The Associated Press.
Bowie went on to win a three medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, including silver in the 100-meter dash and…