Rising star of Team GB died by suicide before her 18th birthday party
Her father has criticised the amount of pressure placed on young athletes
Team GB prodigy Ellie Soutter's death was confirmed by the British Olympic Association last week.
The snowboarder's body was found by police dogs in woodland near her home in Les Gets, France, on Wednesday July 25, her 18th birthday.
She was due to celebrate with a party on Friday July 27, but the venue became a location for friends and family to grieve.
Ellie was expected to be a part of the Team GB squad travelling to the winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022 and was considered a future snowboarding star.
Her father, Tony Soutter, speaking publicly for the first time, criticised the amount of pressure placed on young athletes.
He said: "Unfortunately it all came about from missing a flight which then meant she didn’t go training with the GB squad.
"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."
He told BBC South East his daughter "wanted to be the best" and "not let anybody down" but had struggled with the pressures of elite competition and her own mental health.
Hugh Robertson, British Olympic Association chair, and Ben Hawes, British Olympic Association athlete chair, said: "Ellie was an incredibly popular and well-liked member of the team.
"Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time."
British Ski and Snowboard said "Ellie was one of the country’s best up-and-coming snowboarders, competing in both snowboard cross and freeride.
"She spent the 2017/18 season competing on the Freeride Junior Tour, but 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.
"She was an inaugural member of the British Europa Cup snowboard cross programme which commenced earlier this year.
"The thoughts and condolences of the British ski and snowboard community are with Ellie’s family, friends and teammates."
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