Ellie Soutter, British snowboarder and Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics hopeful, dies on her 18th birthday
Heartbroken father pays tribute to ‘soul mate’, who was tipped for the Beijing Winter Olympics – which she described as her ‘ultimate ambition’
Talented young British snowboarder Ellie Soutter has died on her 18th birthday, just weeks after being selected to represent her country at senior level.
Soutter was tipped to be included in Team GB’s squad for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics – which she described on her official website as her “ultimate ambition – having been named in the senior squad for the snowboard cross Europa Cup circuit next season.
Her father Tony Soutter, who lived with Ellie in the French Alps where she learned to snowboard, confirmed in a statement on Facebook she had died in the UK on Thursday.
The details surrounding Soutter’s death are yet to be confirmed.
“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!”
Soutter, who grew up in Surrey before moving to the Alps, won bronze at the 2017 Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Turkey, earning Britain’s only medal of the event.
A British Ski and Snowboard statement said: “Ellie was one of the country’s best up-and-coming snowboarders, competing in both snowboard cross and freeride.”
She had been training for her return to competition at next month’s Junior World Championships in New Zealand before her death.
“Ellie was an incredibly popular and well liked member of the team,” read a joint statement from British Olympic Association chairman Hugh Robertson and athlete commission chairman Ben Hawes. “Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.”