World champion sprinter and three-time Olympic medalist Tori Bowie died from complications of childbirth, according to an autopsy report obtained by USA TODAY Sports.
The report from the Orange County (Fla.) Medical Examiner Office said Bowie had a “well developed fetus,” as she was estimated to be 8 months pregnant and undergoing labor at the time of her death in May. Officials said possible complications Bowie had included respiratory distress and eclampsia, when a person develops seizures following a sudden spike in high blood pressure during pregnancy, according to Cleveland Clinic.
“Eclampsia typically occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy. It’s rare and affects less than 3% of people with preeclampsia. Eclampsia can cause complications during pregnancy and requires emergency medical care,” the Cleveland Clinic says.
The manner of death was ruled natural, according to the medical examiner.
Bowie’s death came as a shock to the track and field community. The 32-year-old was found dead in her home in Winter Garden, Florida on May 2. Bowie was found when Orange County (Fla.) Sheriff deputies conducted a welfare check at a home after receiving reports a woman in her early 30s “had not been seen or heard from in several days.”
“We’ve lost a client, dear friend, daughter and sister,” Icon Management Inc., the sports agency that represented Bowie, wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Bowie won three medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, including silver in the 100-meter dash and bronze in the 200. She also ran the anchor leg in the women’s 4×100 relay, in which Team USA won gold. By the end of 2017, Bowie was a world champion in both the women’s 100 and 4×100 relay.