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27 Jul, 2018 17:18

'RIP you little champion': Father's tribute to Brit snowboarder who killed herself on 18th birthday

'RIP you little champion': Father's tribute to Brit snowboarder who killed herself on 18th birthday

The father of British snowboarder Ellie Soutter, who died on her 18th birthday on Wednesday has paid tribute to his "soul mate" who was "cruelly" taken away. It has emerged that the Olympic hopeful tragically took her own life.

Writing on Facebook, her father Tony said: "This cruel world took my Soul mate and "Bessie" from me yesterday on her 18th birthday. 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!"

Sources within the sport confirmed to Sun Online that Ellie took her own life in France. The Mail Online, citing Ellie's uncle Jeremy, said his niece was found in woodland late on Wednesday in Les Gets, a ski resort region in the Alps where she and her father lived by police tracker dogs. 

"She wanted to be good at everything. She expected a lot of herself. There's certainly a lot of pressure from competing. The travelling is immense too. She had a very busy training schedule and generally all of that takes its toll," he said, Mail Online reported. 

📸: @corrah_phillips

Публикация от Ellie (@elliesoutter)

Including a number to emotional support charity The Samaritans, British Ski & Snowboard paid tribute to "one of the country’s best up-and-coming snowboarders." The organization offered their thoughts and condolences to the family of an athlete who won bronze in snowboard cross at the 2017 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Erzurum, Turkey. It was Team GB’s only medal of the event.

The teenager, who moved with her 53-year-old dad to France in 2010, had been forced to stop competing at the beginning of 2018 due to a lack of funding but she was able to start again and was expected to compete in the junior world championships in New Zealand next month.

In his Facebook post Tony gave details of friends and family gathering to toast on Friday at the Hôtel-Spa Crychar near to where the pair lived. That date was understood to have been set aside for their joint birthday party.