[Instagram/ Ellie Soutter]
Team GB snowboarder Ellie Soutter was found dead near her home in Les Gets, France on her 18th birthday after taking her own life.
But her father fears multiple head injuries may have played a part in the suicide after she obtained injuries while snowboarding that could have affected her state of mind.
Ellie’s injuries were so severe that she didn’t recognise her own father for seven hours after the incident.
Tony Soutter told the Sunday Times: “She had been airlifted off the mountain about five times, each time with a head injury.
“She didn’t recognise me for seven hours after the incident. She had nasty headaches and trouble sleeping.”
The University of Boston contacted Tony to ask for a biopsy of her brain and their interest prompted him to research Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which can cause severe depression.
He added: “Had I known about CTE I would have stopped her racing completely.”
Tony has previously shared his heartbreak at his daughter’s death, saying in a previous interview he believed the fact she missed a flight to a Team GB training camp could have been a trigger to her tragic passing.
“She wanted to be the best,” he told BBC South East. “She didn’t want to let anybody down.
“Unfortunately it all came about from missing a flight which then meant she didn’t go training with the GB squad.
“She felt she’d let them down, felt she’d let me down and just tragically it just takes one silly little thing like that to tip someone over the edge, because there’s a lot of pressure on children.”
Ellie was the winner of Team GB’s only medal at last year’s European Youth Olympic Winter Festival.
If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.