Cause of US Olympian's Mysterious Death Revealed

Tori Bowie died of childbirth complications
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2023 12:30 AM CDT
Cause of US Olympian's Mysterious Death Revealed
FILE - United States' Tori Bowie gestures after receiving the gold medal she won in the women's 100m final during the World Athletics Championships in London, Monday, Aug. 7, 2017.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

The US Olympic medalist and world champion sprinter who was found dead in May at age 32 died from complications of childbirth, according to her autopsy report. Tori Bowie was approximately eight months pregnant and in labor at the time of her death, USA Today reports. It's not clear whether anyone knew she was pregnant, nor whether she had actually delivered before she died, the Guardian reports; the Orange County, Florida, Medical Examiner Office simply noted the presence of a "well developed fetus." Bowie's obituary says she was predeceased by daughter Ariana Bowie, but does not specify whether that is a reference to the baby she was pregnant with.

Tori Bowie was found dead in bed by officials conducting a welfare check at the request of friends who hadn't heard from her in days, the New York Post reports. The autopsy report states Bowie may have experienced respiratory distress or eclampsia, a rare complication of pre-eclampsia, a condition in pregnancy during which a person's blood pressure abruptly spikes and they start having seizures. US-born Black women are at far higher risk of pre-eclampsia than others. “Black women die at exceedingly higher rates due to pregnancy-related complications," broadcaster BET tweeted. "We face a much higher risk of maternal death due to various reasons including chronic stress and implicit bias from health care providers. There is so much work to be done to properly protect and advocate for Black women’s health." (More autopsy stories.)

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