Tori Bowie’s Hometown Celebrates Her Life Amid Mystery of Her Death-News

BRANDON, Miss. – Before she became a three-time Olympic medalist and before she was named the world’s fastest woman, Frentorish Bowie welcomed a camera crew to her hometown of Sandhill, Miss.

“This is where I found my strength,” Bowie, who was nicknamed Tori, said of a small town 30 minutes northeast of Jackson.

It was 2016, and at age 26 Bowie was on the verge of making his Olympic debut as part of the US sprinting team at the Rio de Janeiro Games. But first he stopped at Pisgah High School to visit the teachers and staff and found himself wiping away tears of joy. He liked to stay at home.

“One day I hope to come to Sandhill and there’s a big sign that says, ‘Welcome to Sandhill, home of Tori Bowie,'” he said.

On Saturday, Bowie’s proud community members were struggling for answers as they gathered at his funeral mourned his recent mysterious death. He was 32 years old.

Her body was found on May 2 by Sheriff’s deputies in Orange County, Fla., who were monitoring her condition before she was seen or heard from for several days.

Bowie was pregnant, but it is not known if she was pregnant before her death. Program offered at funerals On Saturday he said that Bowie was “passed away” by his daughter, Ariana Bowie. An employee at the Orange County medical examiner’s office on Saturday who declined to be named confirmed “baby Bowie,” but declined to elaborate.

No cause of death has been released as toxicology tests are pending, and the office said this week that the tests could take up to three months to complete.

Bowie’s final years seem to have been as private as his death. Other athletes who have coached or competed with him said he has grown in size in recent years. Most people don’t know him outside of the track at all. Al Joyner, an Olympic coach who has coached Bowie since he was 20, said he last spoke to him at the end of 2019 at the world championships in Doha, Qatar.

At a memorial service Saturday at True Vine Baptist Church in Brandon, Miss., the crowd of mourners tried to put aside their questions and focus on Bowie’s athletic achievements, his faith and his moments of passion.

But fear still crept into the room as people shared. Although Rev. Sylvester London, who presided over the ceremony and gave the eulogy, described his disbelief when he heard about Bowie’s death from news reports. London said: “I was surprised, I was very surprised.” “Then I began to pray.”

Bowie’s path to success in the field began at Sandhill almost by accident. He wanted to play basketball at Pisgah High School, but the school also wanted interested students to compete, because it was too small to field teams for both sports. Bowie reluctantly agreed, though he did a lot basketball shorts favorites the short bottom provided to follow the runners.

With no way to identify themselves, the Pisgah Dragons were exercising around a grassy field. They won three state championship titles, while Bowie competed in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 4×100-meter relay and long jump.

However, Bowie’s first love was basketball. When he was hired by the University of Southern Mississippi, he turned the tables. He makes moves like trying to make it to the basketball team, he said. They agreed.

“What surprised me was that he was tall and stupid,” said Sonya Varnell, director of athletics at the University of Southern Mississippi. Most athletes had a lot of muscle, and he was tall and thin like a basketball player.

Varnell was drawn to Bowie, who he described as hardworking and humble. Varnell was also raised by his grandmother, grew up in the same neighborhood as Bowie and became a first-generation collegiate athlete. “They didn’t leave,” Varnell said, “like I did.” He added, “I don’t think he realized how good he was and how good he could be.”

His greatest potential was initially seen as a field event. Joyner, who won the gold medal in 1984 in the triple jump, met Bowie in 2013, was prepared as a long jumper. It wasn’t long before he told Bowie he could be the world’s fastest, he said.

“I told him he was going to be the next big guy,” Joyner said. “And it was in 2014. I will never forget that day beat Allyson Felix. He told me, ‘Al, you’re right.’

At the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, he received a silver medal in the 100 meters, bronze in the 200 meters and gold in the 4×100-meter relay in a team that included Felix.

In 2017, Bowie won the world championships, she received the title of the fastest woman in the world after her 100 meters race. he won by one second by bowing his head forward across the finish line.

His dreams grew. She wanted to get into art and was interested in working with fashion, and in 2018 she did both. He was featured in a Valentine campaign and a Stella McCartney – Adidas agreement. She walked in New York Fashion Week. Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue and was featured in ESPN “Body Issue.”

He wants to use his fame well, his friend Antoine Preudhomme said. When she was young, Bowie and her sister, Tamarra, who is 11 months old, were placed in foster care by their birth mother. Bowie told reporters. Their paternal grandmother, Bobbie Louise Smith, assumed legal guardianship he lifted them up.

Bowie wanted exposure for foster children, Preudhomme said. Together, the two visit foster homes in Florida and Mississippi three or four times a year to deliver Christmas gifts and sometimes challenge children to run errands.

Tanyeka Anderson, Mississippi’s program manager for Apelah Child Care, recalls a 2019 visit from Bowie. He said: “Should a person of his stature come to help?” Back to revenge for our children? This is something very special.”

She said Bowie threw a party for the kids that included dancing, and they stayed for more than four hours. “He was very happy, very happy,” Anderson said.

But then something changed. Bowie was always private, friends and former coaches said. But in the last few years, Bowie has fallen out of touch with many of the people who were part of his athletic career.

Varnell and Joyner found their texts and phone calls unanswered and unanswered. Varnell believed he was busy. Joyner hopes she’s ready for the next big thing, perhaps a comeback after her 2019 debut at the world championships, where she finished fourth in the long jump. Bowie’s Instagram pagewhich was active, was last updated in October 2019.

He last ran the 200-meter race at a track and field event held in Montverde, Fla., in July 2022. Bowie attended Full Sail University in Florida in the fall of 2022 until his death, his family said.

At Friday’s visitation, many mourners heard Bowie’s voice for the first time in years, smiling as they watched his concerts and interviews play on television above Bowie’s casket.

His laugh, always contagious, echoed around the room as others shook their heads in disbelief.

“When I go back to Sandhill,” Bowie said in a 2016 video, “I feel free.”

Saturday’s funeral followed Bowie back to Sandhill for burial. The cemetery is not far from a sign erected in 2018. The words read: “Welcome to the Community of Sandhill, Home of Olympic Gold Medalist Tori Bowie.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *