Casey Family Programs statement on the death of Olympic gold medalist Tori Bowie

Casey Family Programs is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Olympic gold medalist Tori Bowie, an amazing athlete whose story of strength, resilience and deep family connections is a source of inspiration to countless people across the nation.

In 2017, Casey Family Programs recognized Bowie and her grandmother, Bobbie Smith, with a Life of Hope Award. The award is presented to individuals who provide a beacon of hope and illustrate the possibilities and promise of the lives of vulnerable children.

Smith adopted Tori and her sister out of foster care in Sandhill, Mississippi, and together with the support of a large extended family created a loving and supportive home. Bowie credited her grandmother, whom she called Mom, with being her role model in life. At the 2016 Olympics, Bowie won gold, silver and bronze medals, making her the most decorated U.S. track and field athlete in Rio.

Bowie shared her story as an example of how families, grandparents, relatives and other caring adults can work together to help children achieve their full potential in life no matter the challenges they face. She maintained close relationships with her hometown, where she served as an inspiration and role model for youth.

We join with many others in expressing our deep condolences to her family and loved ones.