Rising Snowboarding Star Dies Suddenly on 18th Birthday: She Was a 'Beautiful Young Woman'
Ellie Soutter won bronze at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Turkey last year and had a shot at competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics
A rising star in British snowboarding tragically died on her 18th birthday on Wednesday.
Ellie Soutter won bronze at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Turkey last year and had a shot at competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
An official cause of death has not yet been announced by authorities, but British Ski and Snowboard described her death as “sudden” in a statement released on Thursday. The U.K.’s governing body for snowsports included in the statement a link to Samaritans, a charity in the U.K. that works to “support anyone who needs someone to talk to,” according to its website.
Soutter — who was chosen to be a part of the British team for the Junior World Championships in New Zealand — grew up in Surrey before relocating to the Alps and had plans next month to return to competition, according to Sky News.
Her heartbroken father, Tony Soutter, paid tribute to his daughter via Facebook on Thursday, writing, “I was so proud of the beautiful young woman she had turned into.”
Along with a photograph of his daughter, he continued to write that he will “miss you more than you could have ever imagined. Rest in peace you little Champion!”
He added that “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 tribute to Soutter, writing that she “was an incredibly popular and well-liked member of the team.”
“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time,” BOA chair Hugh Robertson and BOA athlete commission chair Ben Hawes said.
Olympian champion Amy Williams reacted to the news via Twitter on Friday morning.
“Such sad tragic news to wake up to,” she wrote. “Thoughts and prayers go to Ellie Soutter’s family.”
Williams shared a post from Soutters’ friend Emily Sarsfield, who participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics as an English freestyle skier.
“So sad to hear the news of the passing of @elliesoutter,” wrote Sarsfield. “You really were an amazing girl! Such a fun teammate, made me smile everyday, cracking all the jokes and enjoying life to it’s fullest! I’m going to miss you and your amazing energy. 😘 All my thoughts to your family 🙏.”