When Al Joyner, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist in the triple jump, met Bowie in 2013, he too saw the elite potential too. He compared her to his late wife, Olympic champion Florence Griffith Joyner and his sister, Olympic champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee. She could surpass their records, he told her.
“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.”
At the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Bowie earned a silver medal in the 100 meters, a bronze in the 200 meters and a gold in the 4×100-meter relay on a team that included Felix.
In 2017, she won a world championship, earning the title of fastest woman in the world after a dramatic 100-meter race that she won by one-hundredth of a second by leaning her head forward across the finish line.
Ever the fierce competitor, after that finish, she approached Holland, whom she affectionately called Ms. Kim. “I need a new coach,” Bowie said, Holland recalled, despite the monumental win. “The race was too close.”
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