The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is officially closed, but the Olympics, in general, remains in the news. The country of New Zealand and the entire Olympic community is currently in shock after the sudden death of cyclist Olivia Podmore. She was only 24 years old.
Podmore was from Canterbury, New Zealand. She represented the country at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the women’s team sprint event. She won a silver medal in that event. Not only that, but she also rode at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships during that same year.
The news of her death was confirmed in social media posts by Podmore’s family members shortly after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics came to a close. Her brother Mitchell Podmore posted a heartfelt tribute to his Facebook page.
“Rest in Peace to my gorgeous sister and loved daughter of Phil Podmore. You will be in our hearts forever.”
Police officers made their way out to a Cambridge property early on Monday morning where they found the cyclist’s body. As of right now, though, there has not been an official cause of death announced.
“Police are making enquiries in relation to the death on behalf of the coroner,” a police spokeswoman said.
2020 Tokyo Olympics: Podmore’s Death Comes After Cryptic Instagram Post
The timing of Olivia Podmore’s death is certainly somewhat concerning. The Olympic cyclist took to Instagram just hours before her death to outline the pressures of competing on the world’s biggest stage. That has been a message that hits close to home — especially after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“Sport is an amazing outlet for so many people, it’s a struggle, it’s a fight, but it’s so joyous,” she wrote. “The feeling when you win is unlike any other. But the feeling when you lose, when you don’t get selected even when you qualify, when you’re injured, when you don’t meet society’s expectations such as owning a house, marriage, kids, all because [you’re] trying to give everything to your sport is also unlike any other.”
That Instagram post, however, has since been taken down from the platform.
Anna Meares is a fellow cycling legend from Australia. She was one of the many international cyclists to pay their respects to Podmore.
“My heart breaks for the lose of a young life,” she said. “Sorry you were in pain. #RIP @livpodmore #NZcycling #Olympian. Please reach out if you feel alone, are hurting, feel lost, or helpless.”
Cycling New Zealand Makes a Statement on Olivia Podmore’s Death
Everyone is in shock right now over the death of Olivia Podmore. It comes at a time when mental health has been at the forefront of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Conversation. That has been thanks to the likes of American gymnast Simone Biles, among others.
On Monday evening, Cycling New Zealand released an official statement saying they “are deeply saddened with the loss of one of our young cyclists.”
They went into further detail about Podmore later in the statement. They also say that they will be providing extra support to the cycling community during this tough time.