New Zealand Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore’s memory was used in a horrific scam.
On August 10, her brother Mitchell revealed in a Facebook post that scammers were using his late sister for profit. Someone set up a fundraiser for the public to donate to the “family.” However, none of the money went to the family and it was taken down after he discovered the atrocity.
“I hope this is not what I’m seeing, the Podmores have not started a go get funding or ‘give a little’ page,” he wrote in the post. “Do not react to this.”
The creators called themselves “Team Podmore” and titled “Help Olivia Podmore”. An official family spokesperson said that only the Mike Pero Group is collecting donations for the family.
Olivia Podmore was a cyclist at the 2016 Rio Olympics and passed away on Monday. Police were called to her home after someone reported a sudden death at the property, they found Olivia. Her cause of death is unconfirmed, however, a friend was concerned about her mental health. Olivia reportedly sought help from support services provided to athletes.
Her final social media post made her friends concerned about her mental health. The last person to see her also was worried about her state of mind.
“I feel different when I win, but when I lose, when I am qualified but not selected,” Olivia Podmore wrote. “When I get injured, when I own a house, when I get married, etc., I meet the expectations of society. When not. For all children [you’re] Trying to give everything to your sport is also different.”
Remembering Olivia Podmore
The entire sports world was rocked by her sudden tragic death. Her close friend and former rowing Olympian Eric Murray, saw her before she passed. He called her death a “shock and tragedy.” Murray reportedly spent the weekend with Olivia Podmore snowboarding in Queenstown.
“I wish she had said something,” he told media outlets. “We have lost a sister, a friend and a fighter who lost that will of fight inside of her. I was the last person to see her alive. If you had seen her in the last 72 hours, you wouldn’t have thought this could happen. That’s why there’s so much talk about mental health at the moment.”
According to Fox Sports, on Tuesday, numerous decisions were being made regarding athletes. New Zealand athletes found out about her death right before they boarded a flight from Tokyo to return home. The country’s cycling federation program vowed to look over their current mental health support program. Officials have begun discussions concerning athletes’ mandatory quarantine period following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. They are hoping to find a way to allow the athletes to attend their former teammate’s funeral service.