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Olympic Cyclist Dies After Instagram Post Highlighting The Pressures Of Sport

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Olympic Cyclist Dies After Instagram Post Highlighting The Pressures Of Sportliv_podmore/Instagram

A former Olympic cyclist has died suddenly at the age of 24, having recently written a post on Instagram about the pressures of sport.

Olivia Podmore, who was not selected for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, represented New Zealand at both the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

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A police spokesperson has confirmed that officers attended a sudden death at a Waikato property on New Zealand’s upper North Island at around 4.00pm, on Monday, August 9. A cause of death has not been given at this time.

Taking to Instagram in a since deleted post, Podmore remarked that ‘sport is an amazing outlet for so many people’, adding, ‘it’s a struggle, it’s a fight but it’s so joyous’.

She wrote, per Metro:

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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.

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Speaking with the New Zealand Herald, Olympic rower and close friend of Podmore, Eric Murray, described her death as a ‘shock and a tragedy’:

[The loss] reverberates through not only Cambridge and Christchurch, but the sporting fraternity. We’ve lost a sister, a friend, and a fighter who lost that will of fight inside of her.

Olivia may have been the girl that you saw at the supermarket, at the gym, on the track, on TV. She was loved and will be sorely missed. With Olivia’s final words, she left us a message. A message that we wish will never have to be read again by anyone else.

Murray added that we’re now ‘seeing locally and around the world the implications of mental health in sport’, noting that elite athletes Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles have in recent months helped draw attention to the issue of mental health in sport.

If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.

Topics: Sport, New Zealand, Now

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New Zealand Herald
  1. New Zealand Herald

    Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore's death a 'shock and a tragedy', says close friend Eric Murray

Julia Banim
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