Tori Bowie, the former Southern Miss long jumper, went to her first Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer, putting her stamp on the track and field events.
On day eight of the Rio Summer Olympic Games, Bowie took place in the first final of her Olympic career in the 100-meter. In her 100-meter semifinal before, she placed first with a time of 10.90s and showcased dominance among her peers.
But even after shaving her time down to 10.83s in the 100-meter final, she placed second after ducking her head and lunging out to the finish line.
In her 200-meter race against the likes of Elaine Thompson of Jamaica, Dafne Schippers of Netherlands and Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Côte d’Ivoire on day 12 of the Olympics, Bowie had the odds stacked in her favor when the Associated Press projected that she would claim gold in the event.
Although her time was only the 243 fastest of all time, Bowie was able to savor the last few meters with outstretched hands and claim her time of 22.15s and a bronze medal. Aside from the dramatics of Schippers’ near-collapse at the end of the race and Elaine Thompson’s jubilation, Bowie was just as her personality– quiet, unassuming and professional.
Day 14 – Bowie’s last day on the Rio track as a participant – was a day that would showcase her teamwork on a 4×100 race including Allyson Felix, English Gardner, Tianna Bartoletta and Bowie herself.
On an exchange during a preliminary race, Felix and Gardner dropped a baton during an exchange. The time was made up after a U.S. protest, and the U.S. afterward ran a 41.76s, which was the second fastest time worldwide this year.
After that small debacle, the U.S. cruised to a 41.01s finish, the second fastest of all time.
In her races, Bowie was not always the first one out of the blocks. She was not always the first one down to the halfway point. It was the last-second, outstretched effort that propelled her past the competition on the track.