Industry pressure led 18-year-old Olympic snowboarder to end her life, father says

British snowboarder Ellie Soutter, 18, may have ended her own life due to rising pressures within the industry, her father told BBC South East.

Her funeral was held in France on Thursday. Over 400 people attended to honor the rising star, People reported.

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Ellie Soutter died on her 18th birthday, July 25. She was found in deep woods near a ski resort in Les Gets, France, according to PEOPLE.

While authorities have not announced an official cause of death for the young snowboarder, Tony Soutter, Ellie Soutter’s father, told the BBC that his daughter struggled with pre-existing mental health issues. That, combined with intense pressure within the snowboarding industry, likely contributed to her death, he said.

“She wanted to be the best,” Tony Soutter said. “She didn’t want to let anybody down.”

>>Related: Suicide rate rising faster among women than men, CDC says

Tony Soutter told the BBC that his daughter was extremely upset after missing a flight to a team training session.

“She felt she'd let them down, felt she'd let me down, and just tragically it just takes one silly little thing like that to tip someone over the edge, because there's a lot of pressure on children.”

Officials from the British Olympic Association described Ellie Soutter as well-liked and an incredibly popular member of Team Great Britain.

 

Ellie Soutter won the bronze medal in the 2017 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival.

She was set to represent Great Britain at the Junior World Championships in New Zealand next month.

Ellie Soutter was also expected to join her team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Sky News reported.

Warning Signs of Suicide and Resources for Help

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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