Father of Youth Olympics' snowboarder reveals reasons behind daughter's tragic suicide
Tony Soutter, the father of British snowboarder Ellie Soutter, has spoken publicly for the first time since his daughter took her own life.
Ellie, who was found dead on her 18th birthday, on Wednesday, July 25, was considered to be one of the most promising talents in snowboard, as well as a hard-working athlete.
According to BBC, the grieving father believes that Ellie was driven to suicide by the massive pressure that young athletes suffer on a daily basis and that missing a flight was all it took to send her over the edge.
Ellie was not just Tony's daughter, she was also his best friend and his rock, and he described her as a fierce young woman who wanted nothing but to 'be the best' and not 'let anybody down.'
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The British Olympic Association is saddened to hear of the sudden passing of snowboard cross athlete Ellie Soutter, aged 18.— Team GB (@TeamGB) July 26, 2018
Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.https://t.co/MyyHv2Kf2z pic.twitter.com/3LpQHqOhH4
Tony revealed to the news outlet that Ellie was supposed to board a flight and join the rest of the U.K. Olympic squad, and missing the flight made her feel like she had failed her teammates.
It is quite known that professional, and especially elite, athletes are always under pressure and dealing with tight schedules and all-day-long training sessions can be physically and mentally exhausting.
This is also true for younger athletes who, due to their inexperience, might not be able to handle said pressure well without some proper guidance, which is why Tony wants to raise awareness for the importance of helping those athletes.
He wants the issue to be more publicly discussed in order to avoid further deaths by suicide in an environment that can be particularly dangerous to those starting their career.
18-year-old Ellie was living in the Alps, where she trained, but she was originally from Oxted, Surrey, and managed to win a bronze medal at the 2017 Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Turkey.
In honor of Ellie's memory, her family has now started a GoFundMe campaign to help young winter sports athletes in need of financial support.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.