Tributes flow for 'gorgeous', 'much loved' New Zealand Olympic track cyclist Olivia Podmore

Olivia Podmore.
Olivia Podmore. Photo credit: Getty Images

Former New Zealand Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore is being remembered as a "gorgeous" girl who was a much loved and respected rider.

Podmore's family confirmed she died on Monday. She recently posted on social media about the pressures of elite sport.

She was 24-years-old.

Cycling New Zealand said Podmore was "a much loved and respected rider" and was deeply saddened by the loss.

The NZ Olympic Committee also said it was grieving the death of Podmore, who was Olympian #1333 - representing her country at Rio 2016 and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.

A message from Podmore's brother Mitchell was posted on Facebook on Monday.

"Rest in peace to my gorgeous sister and loved daughter of Phil Podmore," he said.

"You will be in our hearts forever."

Since Monday night, social media has been flooded with posts in remembrance of Olivia.

"Our sport, our movement has lost another before their time. Rest in peace Olivia Podmore," former Great Britain Olympic track cyclist Callum Skinner said on Twitter.

"I'm not even sure what to say. My thoughts are with Olivia's family and friends during this time," ex-Australian cyclist Thomas Clarke wrote. 

David Lappartient, the president of the world cycling body UCI, also posted on Twitter to pay tribute.

"Deeply saddened to hear of the sudden death of track cyclist and Olympian, Olivia Podmore from New Zealand who competed at Rio 2016.

"It's a tragic loss and my thoughts are with her family, friends and everyone at @CyclingNZL."

Canadian sports psychiatrist Carla Edwards said Podmore's death was a timely reminder.

"With the sad news about NZ track sprinter Olivia Podmore, let's remember that athletes are human beings, and that sport carries a full range of triumphs and tragedies," Dr Edwards said. "Support your teammate/family member/friend/athlete. Reach out and check-in."

Where to find help and support: 

  • Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
  • Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
  • Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
  • What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
  • Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
  • Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email or online chat
  • Samaritans - 0800 726 666
  • Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
  • Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584