Despite crushing it in the Olympic track-and-field trials in Eugene, Oregon, last week, Tori Bowie never really dreamed of being a competitive runner.
“I never anticipated my life would be this way. I always wanted to be a dentist!” the 25-year-old told Us Weekly. “I thought I was going to be fixing teeth and making beautiful smiles. So to be here and be on this level, it’s breathtaking; you don’t even have words for it.”
The sprinter’s success at trials was just as awe-inspiring. The former long jumper, who is now one of the fastest women in the world, will compete in both the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints in Rio de Janeiro. In qualifying for the 200-meter, she beat out 2012 gold medalist Allyson Felix, who was attempting to defend her medal in addition to running the 400 meter.
Beating Felix has been a goal of Bowie’s since she first thought she had the potential to be an Olympian.
“In 2012 I thought that maybe I could be an Olympic gold medalist. It just came from sitting home and being injured and watching the Olympics on the TV. I just sat back and watched the sport and became a fan of it. I learned the ladies’ names, like Allyson, and I just wanted beat them. I want to be the best at this.”
With her running career on fire, Bowie has accepted that she may never become the dentist she once dreamed of. Now she’s focused on a new goal.
“I’m not really sure if I will go back to school. I’m getting old!” the University of Southern Mississippi grad explained. “So I’m not really sure if I have time to go back to school to be a dentist. But hopefully I’ll be an Olympic gold medalist.”