Olympic champion Eric Murray pays tribute to Olivia Podmore

  • 10/08/2021

Former Olympic rower Eric Murray has paid tribute to his close friend Olivia Podmore, following her death on Monday.

Podmore died on Monday after a troubling social media post about the pressure of elite sport. She was 24 years old. The post has since been deleted.

Eric Murray's statement:

"Olivia was one of my close friends.

"My girlfriend and I spent the weekend with her and a friend in Queenstown. I was with her this time yesterday, and I wish she had said something.

"Her death is a shock, and a tragedy. It reverberates not just through the Cambridge community, but also her home in Christchurch. Her death also reverberates through the New Zealand cycling team, the New Zealand Olympic team, and the worldwide sporting community.

"We have 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.

"We are seeing locally and around the world, the implications of mental health and sport. High profile athletes like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles have in recent months put the spotlight on mental health and high-performance sport.

"Liv's fight was the same. And we now have a statistic, and that is one statistic too many.

"I would ask the media at the bottom of my heart to please give the Podmore family some space at this incredibly difficult time, while we come to terms with life without Olivia."

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