Tributes have been paid to one of the “country’s best up-and-coming snowboarders”, Ellie Soutter, after she died on her 18th birthday.
In a joint statement announcing her death the British Olympic Association chairman, Hugh Robertson, and the athlete commission chairman, Ben Hawes, described Soutter as “an incredibly popular and well-liked member of the team”.
Soutter won Team GB’s only medal at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Turkey last year, claiming a bronze in the snowboard cross. No further details have been released about her death.
“Ellie was one of the country’s best up-and-coming snowboarders, competing in both snowboard cross and freeride,” British Ski and Snowboard said in a statement.
The statement added that Soutter was due to return to competition next month after being selected for the British team heading for the Junior World Championships in New Zealand. BSS said Soutter was one of the inaugural members of the British Europa Cup snowboard cross programme.
Writing on Facebook her father, Tony Soutter, said he was “so proud of the beautiful young woman she had turned into”. He added: “This cruel world took my Soul mate and ‘Bessie’ from me yesterday on her 18th birthday. Ellie I will miss you more than you could have ever imagined. Rest in peace you little Champion!”
Soutter’s official website described going to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing as her “ultimate ambition”, while listing her as an ambassador for the Les Gets Ski Station in the French Alps.