In Brief

Ellie Soutter: Team GB snowboarder found dead on 18th birthday

Tributes pour in after rising star of British snowboarding dies suddenly near her home in France

Ellie Soutter, one of Britain’s best up-and-coming snowboarders, has just died aged 18, reports confirm.

Team GB, the UK’s Olympic squad, released a statement confirming that she had died on Wednesday.

Details of the athlete’s death are currently unclear, but an official statement by the British Ski and Snowboard (BSS) – the national governing body of the sport – described it as “sudden”.

Soutter, who had been training abroad, died near her home in France, the BBC says.

The teenager was considered a rising star in snowboarding, Sky News reports, having won bronze at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Turkey last year – the only medal Team GB took home from the event.

Upon achieving the podium finish, she told BSS: “I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet. I’m a little bit emotional. I cried as I crossed the line.”

BSS had previously described her as “one of the country’s best up-and-coming snowboarders”.

Soutter, who grew up in Surrey, was due to return to snowboard cross competition next month after being selected in the British team for the Junior World Championships in New Zealand.

In a statement posted to Facebook on Thursday, her father, Tony Soutter, said he was “so proud of the beautiful young woman she had turned into”.

“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,” he said.

British Olympic Association chair Hugh Robertson and BOA Athlete Commission chair Ben Hawes said in a joint statement: “Ellie was an incredibly popular and well liked member of the team.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.”

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