Ellie Soutter: Star snowboarder and Olympic hopeful 'killed herself' on her 18th birthday
Considered to be a shoo-in for the Great Britain Winter Olympics team of 2022, her death on her 18th birthday comes as a cruel shock
Team Great Britain Olympic hopeful and star snowboarding prospect Ellie Soutter allegedly 'killed herself' on her 18th birthday. UK's governing body British Ski and Snowboard (BSS) confirmed it to Express. They also paid tribute to the budding star and urged people to come forward and seek help from suicide prevention charity Samaritans. The news of Soutter's death was confirmed by her father.
She had previously claimed the team's only medal, a bronze, during the European Youth Olympic Festival in Erzurum, Turkey, and was earmarked as a sure entrant for the next Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022.
In a post on Facebook, father Tony Soutter wrote: "This cruel world took my Soulmate and "Bessie" from me yesterday on her 18th birthday. I was so proud of the beautiful young woman she had turned into. Ellie I will miss you more than you could have ever imagined. Rest in peace you little Champion!"
Team GB also released a statement regarding her death. "British Ski & Snowboard is saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Ellie Soutter, 18," it read, adding: "The thoughts and condolences of the British Ski & Snowboard community are with Ellie’s family, friends and teammates."
British Olympic Association Chair Hugh Robertson and Athlete Commission Chair Ben Hawes similarly released a joint statement that read: "Ellie was an incredibly popular and well-liked member of the team. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this sad time."
According to the Daily Mail, the teenager had just been selected to represent the British team at the Junior World Championship in New Zealand and was due to return to a snowboard cross competition next month. A specialist at the freeride and boardercross disciplines, she was the disciple of the talented French Olympian snowboarder Deborah Anthonioz.
Having represented Team GB as a youth Olympian, her ultimate goal was to do the same in the competition proper in 2022. To build towards her aim, she spent her winters honing her skills at the Junior Freeride Tour and the SBX Europa Cup and then traveled to New Zealand in the summer to continue her training unabated. She was also an inaugural member of the British Europa Cup snowboard cross programme which commenced earlier this year.