Christopher Bowman, at 1992 Winter Olympics
Celebrated men's figure skater Christopher Bowman, widely known as "Bowman the Showman," was found dead on Thursday in a Los Angeles-area budget-motel room, say authorities.
An autopsy is planned for this weekend, reports the Associated Press. It hasn't been determined whether the 40-year-old skater's death was accidental or suicide.
"He just passed away in his sleep," his mother, Joyce Bowman, told the Detroit Free Press
. "His friend told me that he was fine. He just went to bed and didn't wake up."
But the life of the skater, who had also been a child actor (in commercials and for one season on Little House on the Prairie
), wasn't all triple axels and toe loops. The two-time national champion had a history of cocaine abuse and mental illness.
"I stood by him because I knew he loved me," Bowman's girlfriend, April Freeman, told the Free Press
. "He is the kindest, most caring and lost person I ever met."