Promising British snowboarder, Ellie Soutter, dies on 18th birthday

One of Britain's most promising young snowboarders, Ellie Soutter, has died on her 18th birthday.

Soutter won bronze in snowboard cross at the 2017 European Olympic Winter Festival and had recently been selected for the Junior World Championships in New Zealand.

She was also widely tipped to represent Team GB at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

British Olympic Association chairman Hugh Robertson described Soutter as an "incredibly popular and well-liked member" of the snowboarding team.

A BOA spokesman said: "The British Olympic Association is saddened to hear of the sudden passing of snowboard cross athlete Ellie Soutter, aged 18.

"Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time."

Soutter's father paid tribute to his daughter on Facebook, describing her as his "soul mate".

Tony Soutter wrote: "This cruel world took my Soul mate and "Bessie" from me yesterday on her 18th birthday.

"I was so proud of the beautiful young woman she had turned into. Ellie I will miss you more than you could have ever imagined. Rest in peace you little Champion!"

British Ski & Snowboard said it was "saddened" to learn of Soutter's death, adding that its thoughts and condolences were with her family.