'I Wish She Had Said Something': Ex-Olympic Cyclist Dead at 24

Earlier on the day of her death, Olivia Podmore posted a since-deleted Instagram post
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2021 9:45 AM CDT
Former Olympic Cyclist Olivia Podmore Dead at 24
In this file photo dated April 6, 2018, New Zealand's Olivia Podmore waves after competing during the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia.   (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard, FILE)

On Monday, former Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore posted a since-deleted Instagram post that talked about the pressures faced by top athletes. By Monday evening, the 24-year-old from New Zealand was dead. A police rep told Reuters that police were called to "a sudden death" at a property in Waikato around 4pm local time. Cycling New Zealand that evening announced the "loss of one of our young cyclists," per the New Zealand Herald. The New Zealand Olympic Committee offered its "deepest condolences to family, friends, and others in the NZ community who are grieving this loss." Podmore rode for New Zealand at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the women's team sprint event; she didn't participate in the Tokyo Games.

No cause of death has been provided, though friend and former Olympic rowing champ Eric Murray suggested mental health may have been a factor. Murray told reporters he was with Podmore on Monday, and "I wish she had said something. We have lost a sister, a friend, and a fighter who lost that will of fight inside of her. If you had seen her in the last 72 hours, you wouldn't have thought this could happen. That's why there's so much talk about mental health at the moment." Cycling News has an excerpt from her Monday Instagram post: "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 [as] owning a house, marriage, kids, all because [you're] trying to give everything to your sport, is also unlike any other." (More obituary stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.