Track star Tory Boy died in childbirth

Bowie’s rise to the fastest woman in the world began on the basketball court in Sandhill, Miss.

Pisgah High School was too small to field separate basketball and track teams, so if Bowie wanted to play basketball, she would have to run track as well. She went on to help her team win state titles, competing in the 100-meter, 200-meter dash, 4×100-meter relay and long jump.

When she was recruited by the University of Southern Mississippi, she said she would compete in track and field if she could try to make the women’s basketball team as a walk-on. She ended up sticking to the track.

When she turned pro in 2013, her greatest potential seemed to lie in the long jump. But she quickly transitioned into running, and her career blossomed. Bowie was a three-time Olympic medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics before claiming the title of world’s fastest woman by winning the 100m at the World Championships a year later.

She’s been generous with her success, said boyfriend Antoine Briaudom, and will visit nurseries throughout Florida and Mississippi three to four times a year to give gifts and spend time with the kids.

In the past few years, Bowie, always private, has turned inward and lost touch with many of the coaches who were part of her journey to the top of the sport.

“She even backed out on me,” her longtime agent, Kimberly N. Holland, said on the day of the funeral. “But she always found her way back because of the bond we had.”

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Holland said she was excited about being pregnant. The two spoke on the phone a few weeks before her death.

“It was one of the best conversations we’ve had in a long time,” Holland said on the phone Monday. “We laughed like schoolgirls. We laughed so hard my stomach hurt.”

Bowie agreed to go to Atlanta so that Holland could help raise the child. They were both so excited, Holland said, “just hearing the joy.” It was the last time they spoke.

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