New Zealand Olympic Cyclist Olivia Podmore Dead at 24

Olivia Podmore, who competed at the 2016 Rio Games, has died at the age of 24. In a Facebook post, Cycling New Zealand called Olivia a "much loved and respected rider."

By Elyse Dupre Aug 10, 2021 12:41 PMTags
Olivia Podmore, New Zealand, 2020 Tokyo OlympicsHannah Peters/Getty Images

The sports world has lost a beloved athlete.

Cyclist Olivia Podmore, who represented New Zealand in the 2016 Rio Olympics, has passed away at the age of 24.  

"The New Zealand Olympic Committee is deeply saddened by the loss of Olympian #1333, Olivia Podmore, " the organization said in a statement. "We offer our deepest condolences to family, friends and others in the NZ community who are grieving this loss. We are providing wellbeing support for members of her team and the wider team as we return home from Tokyo."

Olivia's brother, Mitchell Podmore, also confirmed the news on Facebook. "Rest in peace to my gorgeous sister and loved daughter of Phil Podmore," he wrote. "You will be in our hearts forever."

The cause of Olivia's death has yet to be revealed. A New Zealand police spokesperson told E! News "police attended a sudden death at a Cambridge property" in the evening of Aug. 9. 

"Police are making enquiries in relation to the death on behalf of the Coroner," the police continued. "The Coroner will release their findings in due course."

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Olivia, who was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, became a top competitor in her sport at a young age. In 2015, she won the silver medal in the team sprint and the bronze medal in the time trial at the Junior Track Cycling World Championships in Kazakhstan. Olivia then went on to compete at the 2016 Rio Games in the sprint, team sprint and keirin events. She placed 23rd and ninth in the first two events and suffered a crash in the third. In 2017, Olivia was the national keirin champion. She also competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast but did not compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In a Facebook post, Cycling New Zealand called Olivia a "much loved and respected rider" on its squad and in the cycling community.

"She was a valued team member," the New Zealand Olympic Committee added, "and her loss will be felt across the New Zealand Sporting Community."

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