Olivia Podmore was an adored Olympic athlete for New Zealand. She was at Rio 2016 as well as the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Podmore represented her country in the cycling category and was quite successful during her time.
Sadly, the New Zealand Olympic Committee recently confirmed the death of the 24-year-old Olympic silver medalist on Monday. Her cause of death seems to be unknown at this time. A police spokesperson told CNN, “Police are making enquiries in relation to the death on behalf of the Coroner. The Coroner will release their findings in due course.”
Fans and Family Tributes to Olivia Podmore
Since the news was released, fans and family have reacted to the outright devastating news of Olivia Podmore’s passing. Her brother, Mitchell, posted on social media, “Rest in peace to my gorgeous sister and loved daughter of Phil Podmore. You will be in our hearts forever.”
Meanwhile, the Cycling New Zealand team referred to Podmore as a “much loved and respected rider in our Cycling New Zealand Squad.”
Olivia Podmore posted on her social media just a few days ago. She wrote, “frosty” alongside a picture f her out snowboarding. Fans have flocked to this post to express their love for the late Olympian. Josh Lanes, a fellow cyclist, posted a heartfelt message here.
He wrote, “you always came across to me as one of the most warm, kind cyclists I know. Wishing your beautiful soul and strong family my upmost respect, love and prayers. Rest in peace beautiful Olivia.”
The cycling community has come together to mourn the loss. Natasha Hansen, Podmore’s teammate and two-time Olympic athlete, wrote about her passing in a Facebook post.
“We have been through many ups and downs together and shared in so many highs and lows. The last couple of years have been so great to reconnect on a deeper level but I am devastated that this has come to such a sudden end. I cannot fathom the pain your family and closest friends must be feeling right now, but I hope they are comforted by the fact that you are loved by so many and have touched so many hearts. They are in all our thoughts and prayers. Your beauty will be forever remembered… Rest peacefully gorgeous girl,” Hansen said, according to Cycling Weekly.
Mental Health Discussions
Her death is also spurring a conversation around athletes and mental health. According to Reuters, the New Zealand cycling federation said it will be reviewing its mental health support given to athletes. Although her cause of death has not been confirmed, the cyclist had reached out to different support services that are offered to athletes.
Mental health has been a huge focus recently. Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open after opening up about her personal struggles with mental health. Simone Biles pulled out of most of her events at the 2020 Olympics citing the need to put mental health first. Several other athletes have come forward to talk about the insane pressure that professional athletes experience.
Podmore wrote about these challenges athletes face on her Instagram account on Monday, however, the post was later deleted.