Family and friends pay tribute to Team GB's young and talented snowboarder Ellie Soutter who died on her 18th birthday
The news about Ellie's death was announced by her father on social media. She died her birthday but the cause of her death has not been revealed.
Team GB snowboarder Ellie Soutter passed away on Wednesday (July 25), the same day when she celebrated her 18th birthday. The news of her death was confirmed by her father, Tony Soutter in an emotional Facebook post. Soutter was described as “one of the country’s best up-and-coming snowboarders” by British Olympic Association. Soutter was tipped to compete at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Taking to Facebook, Tony remembered his beautiful daughter in a sweet message. “This cruel world took my soul mate and ‘Bessie’ from me yesterday on her 18th birthday," he wrote. “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!
He further added, "For those who would like to toast her amazing short life we will be raising a glass in memory of her this Friday 6.30pm at the Crychar Les Gets.” The British Olympic Association also paid their respects to Soutter as chairman Hugh Robertson and athlete commission chairman Ben Hawes came forward saying, "Ellie was an incredibly popular and well-liked member of the team. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time."
The news came as a shock to everyone as Soutter was one of the youngest to be recognized for her talent after she secured Team GB’s only medal at European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Turkey last year. The British Ski and Snowboard governing body also issued a statement expressing their sadness over losing one of their great talents.
Details about the cause of her death have not been revealed. She had been training abroad in the recent weeks preparing for the competition. When she won the medal in Turkey, her words were: "I just hope this isn't the last medal I win for Team GB. My goal is to compete at Beijing 2022."
“British Ski & Snowboard is saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Ellie Soutter, 18. Ellie was one of the country’s best up-and-coming snowboarders, competing in both snowboard cross and freeride," the statement read. “The thoughts and condolences of the British Ski & Snowboard community are with Ellie’s family, friends and teammates.”
Emily Sarsfield, who competed at this year’s Olympics in the Ski Cross, also came forward with words to remember Soutter by. “So sad to hear the news of the passing of @elliesoutter. You really were an amazing girl! Such a fun teammate, made me smile every day, cracking all the jokes and enjoying life to its fullest! I’m going to miss you and your amazing energy. All my thoughts to your family," she wrote. Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams, who won the women’s skeleton in 2010, added: “Such sad tragic news to wake up to. Thoughts and prayers go to Ellie Soutter’s family.”
Fans were also quick to take it to social media to pay their respect to Soutter. "It’s tragic news about Ellie Soutter how did this happen on her 18th birthday!! Deepest sympathy to her family and friends," wrote one, while another added, "Very affected by hearing about the death of #EllieSoutter on her 18th birthday, so sad, such a young talent, the help for young minds needs to be much better than it is."