Ellie Soutter was a British Olympic snowboarder. Tragically, she died on Wednesday this week on her 18th birthday. She was training in France and died near her home there. The BBC reported that her father posted up his heartbreak on his Facebook, saying, "This cruel world took my soul mate...from me yesterday on her 18th birthday. Ellie, I will miss you more than you could have ever imagined. Rest in peace you little champion." He also noted that he was very proud and she was a beautiful young woman.

Ellie Soutter was due to go to New Zealand to compete

Ellie was born in the UK but moved to Europe to be closer to the Alps, which suited her sport.

She was due to go to New Zealand as she was selected for the UK team to compete in the Junior World Championships. The BBC reported that reaction was heartfelt. Hugh Robertson of the British Olympic Association issued a joint statement with Ben Hawes, of the BOA Athlete Commission, saying that she was a "popular" member of the team and was "very well liked" They added, "Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time."

There were no further details released about how she died, but early on, people assumed it was an accident of some sort. However, there is now some talk on Twitter that her death may have related to mental illness. Tributes started coming in from friends of the beautiful young champion.

Boyfriend opens up about the death of Ellie on her birthday

OK Magazine reported that Ellie was rumoured to have a boyfriend; Oscar Mandin.

They were thought to be dating, but nobody seems to be able to confirm this was still the case. Nevertheless, his tribute was short and emotional. He posted a photo up on Instagram and it showed them in London. He captioned it with,"Goodbye Ellie." He also put up a heart emoji next to the caption.

Tributes to Olympic snowboarder

Across social media, Ellie Soutter's friends and fellow athletes were quick to post their thoughts, love and anguish. Even though there is no confirmation, from reports by Sky News and a mention of The Samaritans, people on Twitter are taking it that she may have been a mental health victim. Irrespective, it is a tragedy to die on your 18th birthday. The talented athlete will be a sad loss to the world of sport, no matter how she died.

Ellie was a talented athlete and brought home a medal

Snowboarder Ellie Soutter was very talented and brought home a bronze medal from the Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Turkey last year.

She was the only member of the British team to do so. BBC quoted her as saying at the time, "I cried as I crossed the line. I was just so emotional as it hasn't been the best season for me and it's finally on the way up." She added that she hoped it "isn't the last medal I win for Team GB. My goal is to compete at Beijing 2022."

Sadly, Ellie Soutter will never bring home another medal for the GB Team. Her tragic death on her 18th birthday means the young snowboarder will not get to meet her Beijing goal. Her brief life was glorious and her ending is a sad loss to fans, friends, family and teammates.