British snowboarder Ellie Soutter took her own life after missing a flight to British ski and snowboard training, her father has said.
The snowboarder died on her 18th birthday last week with her body found in a remote woodland near her French home.
Her father, Tony, has since spoken out about the pressures on young athletes so early in their careers and revealed Ellie’s history of mental health issues and stresses of elite sports competition may have been a factor in her decision to take her own.
He added that the missed flight to meet up with the squad, meaning she could not train, could have acted as a trigger for her suicide.
“Ellie wanted to be the best and not let anybody down,” he said speaking to BBC South East. “Unfortunately it all came about from missing a flight which then meant she didn't go training with the GB squad.
“She felt she'd let them down, felt she'd let me down and just tragically it just takes one silly little thing like that to tip someone over the edge, because there's a lot of pressure on children.”
He also called for action to help other young athletes, who could be silently struggling with the same problems his daughter was as she faced the pressures of elite competition.
“Mental health awareness needs to be really looked at and made more public. I have lost my best friend, my total buddy. She was my rock.”
Her family have set up a foundation in her name to help young winter sports athletes needing financial support.
For confidential support call Samaritans on 116 123.
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