For one of the most elite and built-in athletes in recent American history to come around, and rise to the top, that would be the three-time medalist in her Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro. And that’s Tori Bowie.
But Bowie surprised us all — including herself — in becoming a world-class athlete and transforming into a national treasure. Talk about her role model and mentor in getting her to become a star athlete and gaining her strength — that would be her grandmother — Bobbie Smith.
“I never wanted my grandmother to leave my side,” Bowie acknowledged, via Women’s Running. She added that “life changed in a major way.” How so? According to Bowie, there was stability, security, and later on, accountability.
Now, the American track and field athlete has another new title under her belt. It’s official. Bowie is a stunning and elegant model, after featuring in the ESPN’s 2018 ‘Body Issue’, and proved she can turn heads in the fashion world as well. Most importantly, though, she accomplished another major feat. Unbelievable.
Full Name: Frentorish “Tori” Bowie
Birthdate: August 27, 1990
Birth Place: Sand Hill, Mississippi
School: University of Southern Mississippi
As a tomboy, Bowie’s childhood was “hell,” with her mother getting rid of her, and her sister, Tamara, and brought them over to a foster-care system. Even today, it is still unclear as to why her mother chose to give up raising her kids. Growing up in a small, unpopulated county, Rankin in Mississippi, where it wasn’t even counted in the U.S. Census, the town had not even one single stoplight. So Bowie and Tamara had to find ways to entertain themselves.
“We were always trying to create some type of competition, whether it was racing between trees or stacking tires and hurdling over them, ” Bowie said.
Next thing you know, Bowie and her sister’s life changed in a heartbeat, when her grandmother, Bobbie, was awarded legal guardianship nine months after they entered foster care.
Then, a future star was born. The second she entered Pisgah High School, her mind was already set on one thing; to join the track and field team. With a reigning star in the makings — she captured multiple state high school titles, including the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and many more — she also had a “backup” sport, which was competing on the state team in women’s basketball.
After graduating from Pisgah High School, it was time for her to continue her athletic rise.
Upon enrolling at the University of Southern Mississippi with an academic scholarship, she would go on to compete as a long-distance runner and sprinter. In her freshman year, Bowie demonstrated not only perseverance but also professionalism.
In her breakthrough year as a junior, she accomplished her biggest major feat to date. She won her first college title in the long jump at the NCAA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championship with a jump of 6.52 meters. Her jump was also a school record mark. As the year was coming to an end, she was named the conference female athlete of the year for her major achievements.
And of course, she knew she had to finish her college journey on a strong note. First, she went on to seal the triple jump win at the Conference USA indoor championships with a personal record of 13.09 meters for the event. After that, when it came to the outdoor championships, she greatly improved her 100 meter best that year, dropping from 11.76 to 11.28 seconds.
The rest of her life was just Olympics history.
The Fastest Woman In The World
In 2015, Bowie’s dreams started to come true. It was all happening so fast. It all began with her finishing in first-place in the 100 meters at the 2015 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, while also earning a spot on Team USA for the world championship in Beijing, where she captured the bronze medal. All of a sudden, she secured her spot for the Rio Games after placing third in the 100 meters at the 2016 Olympic Trials.
“Making the 2016 Olympic Team has meant the most to me,” Bowie said. She added, “I remember sitting at home watching the 2012 Olympics on T.V. and feeling so hyped about the idea of one day being there. So to actually make the team and live it, it feels like my greatest accomplishment.”
Next, Bowie burst onto the global sports scene with a three-medal performance at the Rio Olympics. But bigger than that, she went onto claim the title of world’s fastest woman with an electric leaning finish in the 100 meters at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.
So what is she up to these days?
Currently, she is working on creating her foundation, Live It, which will offer support and mentorship to children in the foster-care system. “I want to reach out to these kids to let them know that someone is thinking about them,” she said.