Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore has died aged twenty-four, just hours after a haunting Instagram post talking about the pressures of competing.
The New Zealand cyclist, who competed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, shared a grinning selfie at an airport just hours before her family confirmed her death.
“Rest in peace to my gorgeous sister and loved daughter of Phil Podmore. You will be in our hearts forever,” her brother Mitchell shared.
“Sport is an amazing outlet for so many people, it’s a struggle, it’s a fight but it’s so joyous,” she wrote in a post on social media.
“The feeling when you win is unlike any other, but the feeling when you lose, when you don’t get selected even when you qualify, when you’re injured, when you don’t meet society’s expectations such a owning a house, marriage, kids all because [you’re] trying to give everything to your sport is also unlike any other.”
The post has since been deleted.
The news of her death came as some members of the New Zealand cycling team were about to leave Tokyo following the Olympics
“We offer our deepest condolences to family, friends, and others in the NZ community who are grieving this loss,” the New Zealand Olympic Committee said in a statement.
“Olivia represented New Zealand with honor and pride at both the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. She was a valued team member and her loss will be felt across the New Zealand sporting community.”
Podmore competed in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio after picking up silver and bronze medals in the junior world championships in Astana in 2015. She won the national keirin champion title in 2017.
She also competed at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in the sprint, team sprint, and keirin events.
Rest in Peace, Olivia. Our deepest condolences go out to her family during this terrible time.