Ellie Soutter: 5 things you need to know about the snowboarding star who died on her 18th birthday
The tragic death of Ellie Soutter — one of the rising stars in the field of snowboarding who died on her 18th birthday — was announced via a statement by British Ski and Snowboard. While the cause of her death is yet to be disclosed, the statement described the passing as "sudden", and also included information about the United Kingdom’s suicide prevention hotline.
Ellie Soutter's innumerable achievements include winning a bronze medal at the 2017 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Turkey — the only medal achieved by Team Great Britain that year.
The press release of her demise ends with “The thoughts and condolences of the British Ski & Snowboard community are with Ellie’s family, friends and teammates.”
While the whole world mourns the tragic loss — here are five things you need to know.
1. Soutter's father Tony Soutter called the world 'cruel'
Taking to Facebook, Tony wrote a heartbreaking tribute to the medalist daughter, saying: “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!”
Tony Soutter’s last Facebook post before Ellie’s tragic passing saw him pay tribute to another of his daughter’s incredible achievements in snowboarding in which he wrote that he was a “proud dad again.”
2. In 2017, Ellie was crowned the ‘Future Stars of British Snow Sports’
During the 2017/18 season, Ellie was one of the contenders for the Freeride Junior Tour and had also made it to the British team for the Junior World Championships in New Zealand. In 2018, she made it to the British Europa Cup snowboard cross program. Her forte of disciplines included boardercross, freeride and halfpipe.
“I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet, I’m a little bit emotional," Ellie told Bromley Times after winning her bronze medal at the European Youth Olympic Festival. "I cried as I crossed the line – I was just so emotional as it hasn’t been the best season for me and it’s finally on the way up. I even asked my coach to put snow down my back when I was in the start gate. It helps wake me up so I don’t feel all floppy like a jellyfish.” In April 2016, Soutter won silver at the British Snowboard Cross tournament after opting to not compete at her age level.
3. Lack of funds stunted Ellie's progress
Back in 2015, Tony Soutter had also attempted to raise money to help support Ellie's career via Go Fund Me. Sadly, the page could only raise a meager $5,000 of a $23,000 goal. Tony shared that the reason behind creating the page was the lack of financial support from British Ski and Snowboard and also alleged that it was the reason why Ellie's career's had suffered.
4. Ellie lived in France but was in England at the time of her death
Ellie, who described herself on her Facebook page as “Occasionally doing cool things with my snowboard,” was from London, but lived in Morzine, in the French Alps. However, as per BBC's reports, the former student at the Old Hawthorns School in Surrey was in England when she died.
5. Ellie started snowboarding at the age of 10 and was discovered by Team Great Britain when she was snowboarding with friends
Her official website says that she was all of 10 when she had first started the sport. Her coach was French Olympian Deborah Anthonioz. Her official bio also states her goals as competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Other than her snowboarding career, Ellie also indulged in mountain biking and hiking as her other hobbies.
Ellie's LinkedIn page says that she began skiing at three years old. In November 2010, she moved to France with her father and took up snowboarding. It was on one such day, snowboarding with friends, that members of Team Great Britain, who were training nearby, spotted her.