Olivia Podmore funeral: Hundreds gather to pay tribute to 'wonderful human' in Christchurch

Hundreds of people have gathered to celebrate the life of Kiwi track cycling star Olivia Podmore at her funeral in Christchurch on Friday.

On Monday the 24-year-old was found dead in Cambridge, just hours after posting a message on social media about the pressures of being an elite athlete.

Podmore had represented New Zealand at the Rio 2016 Olympics and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Tributes have flowed for Podmore since her death, with double Olympic champion Eric Murray calling her "a wonderful human who we were all so lucky to have had in our lives".

Podmore's former teammate Natasha Hansen said Podmore's "beauty would be forever remembered".

"The last couple of years has been so great to reconnect on a deeper level but I am devastated that this has come to such a sudden end," Hansen posted on Facebook. 

"I cannot fathom the pain your family and closest friends must be feeling right now, but I hope they are comforted by the fact that you are loved by so many and have touched so many hearts."

Murray has announced another commemorative event planned for Cambridge on August 27 to allow Podmore's friends - many of whom are Olympians currently in MIQ after competing in Tokyo - to attend.

More details for the Cambridge event will follow over the coming days, including a dress code that requires the wearing of bright colours.

Podmore's family have also organised a memorial bike ride, which will take place in Christchurch on Saturday at 10am.

Participants are asked to meet at Princess Margaret Hospital, before riding to Sumner via Cashmere and Heathcote Valley. The event will end with a gathering at the Scarborough Park playground.

"Anyone who knew Liv, maybe met her once or twice, or even watched her journey and successes online and through social media, knows just how much Liv loved to ride her bike," Podmore's family wrote in a Facebook post. "She absolutely adored being on two wheels.

"This will be an opportunity for us all to take a moment and reflect on [Podmore's] infectious energy and smile, her care and love for any person she met, and dedication to anything she pursued."

Both Sport New Zealand - whose chief executive, Raelene Castle, attended Friday's funeral - and Cycling New Zealand are providing support to Podmore's teammates.

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