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

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

Bowie, then 26, was set to compete in her first Olympic Games as a member of Team USA. of The U.S. Sprinting Team at Rio de Janeiro Games. She stopped first at Pisgah to see teachers and staff, and she found herself wiping happy tears. She enjoyed being at home.

“One day I hope that I can come to Sandhill and there’s this huge sign that says, ‘Welcome to Sandhill, home of Tori Bowie,’” “She said”

The community, which had so much pride in Bowie, was searching for answers on Saturday as they gathered to attend her funeral. They also mourned the recent undetermined death of Bowie. She was 32.

Her body was found on May 2 by Orange County, Fla., sheriff’s deputies, who were conducting a wellness check after she had not been seen or heard from in several days.

Bowie’s pregnancy was confirmed, although it wasn’t known if Bowie carried the baby to full term. The program provided at the funeral service Bowie’s death was announced on Saturday “preceded in death” Ariana Bowie, a daughter. An official at the Orange County medical examiner’s office on Saturday who declined to give her name confirmed a “baby Bowie,” She declined to give any further information.

No cause of Toxicology tests have not yet been completed. According to the Office, it may take as long as three months.

Bowie’s Her death was as mysterious in the last couple of years as it appeared. She had become distant from her former track teammates who used to train or compete with her in the past years. Many didn’t know her off the track at all. Kimberly N. Holland said that Bowie struggled with paranoia and anxiety.

At Saturday’s memorial service at True Vine Baptist Church in Brandon, Miss., a crowd of They tried to focus their attention on the funeral and not ask questions. Bowie’s Her athletic accomplishments, her religious faith and her bubbly moments.

There is a difference between a feeling and logical reasoning of Even as the tributes are shared, a sense of shock pervades the room. Even the Rev. Sylvester London described his surprise when he heard. of Bowie’s A news alert can cause death. “I was shocked, shocked,” London Said “Then I started to pray.”

Bowie’s Sandhill is where the path to fame in track and fields began. Pisgah required her to participate in both track and basketball because the school was too small for separate teams. Bowie agreed reluctantly, despite her dislike for the sport. preferred long basketball shorts The shorter track bottoms worn by athletes.

Pisgah Dragons, without a dedicated track of their own to practice on, ran around the grassy fields. Bowie competed in 100 meters, 200 metres, the 4×100 meter relay, and long jump. They won three titles at state championships.

Still, Bowie’s First love was basketball. The University recruited her. of Southern Mississippi was the victim. She said she would run track if it meant she could walk onto the basketball team. Both sides came to a compromise.

“What stood out to me is that she was really tall and lanky,” Sonya Varnell has been a University athletic administrator since the 1970s. of Southern Mississippi. “Most sprinters got a lot of muscle on them, and she was tall and thin like a basketball player.”

Varnell was attracted to Bowie because she described him as an honest, hard-working man who is humble. Varnell was also brought up by her grandmother. She grew in the same country as Bowie. “She came from nothing,” Varnell said, “just like me.” She also added: “I don’t think she realized how good she was or how good she could be.”

Her Field events initially showed the most promise. Holland signed Bowie back in January 2013 and said that she was aware of the signing. “the next one.” Bowie, who was originally a long-jumper, showed great promise as a sprinter. Holland, however, described him differently. Bowie’s The initial shape of the form is “she was running from a Rottweiler.”

Al Joyner, an Olympic triple-jumper who won gold in 1984, also saw Bowie’s elite potential in 2013. Al Joyner, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist in the triple jump, met Bowie in 2013 and saw her potential. He said she would surpass her predecessors’ records.

“I told her she’s going to be the next great one,” Joyner said. “And that was in 2014. I’ll never forget the day she beat Allyson Felix. She told me, ‘Al, you were right.’”

Holland’s response toward Bowie’s influx of attention? “Welcome to the party.”

Bowie won a silver in 100 meters at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. He also earned a bronze medal in 200 meters. And he took home a gold for the team’s 4×100 meter relay, which included Felix.

In 2017, she earned the title of World Champion. of After a 100-meter sprint that was dramatic, she is now the fastest woman on earth. won by one-hundredth of a second By leaning forward her head across the finish.

She was a competitor to the end, and after her finish, Holland called her Ms. Kim. “I need a new coach,” Holland remembered Bowie’s words, in spite of the historic win. “The race was too close.”

Bowie’s The dream expanded. She was eager to work with fashion labels and get into modeling. Both of these things she achieved in 2018. In 2018, she was featured on a Valentino campaign A Stella McCartney-Adidas collaboration. She participated in New York Fashion Week. Annie Leibovitz photographed her for Vogue The Featured in the ESPN “Body Issue.”

Antoine Preudhomme, a friend of Bowie’s, said that the star wanted to put her fame to good use. Bowie was given up to the foster system when she was just a toddler. Her sister Tamarra is also 11 months older. Bowie told reporters. BobbieLouise Smith was granted legal guardianship of the children by their grandmother. raised them.

Preudhomme explained that Bowie had wanted to appear for foster children. Preudhomme said that the two would deliver gifts to foster children in Florida and Mississippi at least three or four times per year.

Tanyeka Anderson is a director of program at Apelah in Mississippi, which provides foster care. She remembers Bowie’s visit to the state. She told me: “For a person of her magnitude to come help? To come give back to our children? That’s a very special thing.”

She claimed that Bowie held a dance party with the kids and was there for over four hours. “She was very vibrant, very happy,” Anderson,

Something changed. Bowie, according to friends and ex-coaches, was always private. Bowie has lost contact with many people in the last few years. of People who have been part of Her athletic rise

Varnell and Joyner’s texts and phone calls were not returned. Varnell thought she was busy. Joyner thought she might be training for a big comeback, after she finished fourth at the 2019 World Championships in long jump. Bowie’s Instagram pageThe last time the was updated, it was in October of 2019.

“She even backed away from me,” Holland Said “But she always found her way back because of the bond we had.”

In July 2022, she competed in the 200-meter race at a sprint event held in Montverde (Florida). Bowie studied at Full Sail University, Florida during the fall semester of The obituary of her family said that her life expectancy was 2022.

Holland spoke to Bowie for the last call a couple of weeks before his death. “I can’t even put the words into how much joy came across the phone,” Holland Said “She giggled like an innocent child.”

“It was the old Tori again,” She added. Bowie told Holland she was expecting and that she would be coming to Atlanta. Holland was eager to raise the child. “She was excited, she was so excited,” Holland Said

On Friday many people heard the funeral service. Bowie’s The couple heard their voice for the very first time after years. They smiled while watching her interviews and races on TV above. Bowie’s coffin.

Her As some people shook their head in disbelief, an infectious laugh filled the room.

“When I’m back in Sandhill,” Bowie stated in a video from 2016. “I feel free.”

On Saturday, the funeral procession followed Bowie to Sandhill where she was buried. In 2018, a new sign was placed near the cemetery. The sign reads as follows: “Welcome to the Community of Sandhill, Home of Olympic Gold Medalist Tori Bowie.”