A memorial next week to remember Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore has been scheduled so fellow cyclists still in MIQ can attend and celebrate her life.
Podmore, 24, who represented New Zealand at the 2016 Rio Olympics, died suddenly on Monday.
In a statement today, close friend, former Olympian and family spokesman Eric Murray said a large celebration of Podmore’s life was being planned in Cambridge on Friday August 27 for anyone touched by the tragedy.
“This allows all those currently in MIQ to join to mourn and celebrate the passing of such a special person.
“Everybody who came into contact with Liv over her short life was left in no doubt that Liv was a wonderful human who we were are all so lucky to have had in our lives.
“This will be an athlete-led celebration, but open for all to attend, as her Cambridge sporting community were such an important part of her life and are so deeply affected by this.
The immediate focus for her family and friends was on tomorrow’s funeral in Christchurch at 11am.
Details of next week’s memorial would be released in coming days, including a dress code “that requires the wearing of bright colours – something that Liv would certainly have wanted”.
The family was working closely the New Zealand Olympic Committee, High Performance Sport NZ, Cycling New Zealand and Waipa District Council, which were all supporting the celebration.
Meanwhile, a memorial ride for Podmore will be held in Christchurch this Saturday.
It was announced on Facebook today.
The ride will start at Christchurch’s The Princess Margaret Hospital at 10am and end at Scarborough Park playground.
It would allow people to pay their respects to Podmore’s family and friends, and to remember the amazing person she was, a Facebook post for the event said.
“Anyone who knew Liv, maybe met her once or twice, or even watched her journey and successes online and through social media, knows just how much Liv loved to ride her bike,” the post said.
“She absolutely adored being on two wheels.”
The memorial ride would be an opportunity for people to take a moment and reflect on Olivia’s infectious energy and smile, her care and love for any person she met, and dedication to anything she pursued, it said.
Riders would journey from the hospital to Sumner, via Cashmere and Heathcote Valley, before gathering at Scarborough Park Playground.
The organisers asked attendees to respect road rules and etiquette to ensure the ride was kept peaceful, enjoyable and doesn’t disrupt other road users.
Olympian Eric Murray says the sudden death of his close friend Olivia Podmore has been a shock and a tragedy. Photo / Mike Scott
Murray spoke to media in Cambridge on Tuesday afternoon, where he described the 24-year-old as “a sister, a friend, and a fighter.”
“Her death is a shock and a tragedy,” he said.
“[The loss] reverberates through not only Cambridge and Christchurch, but the sporting fraternity.
“We’ve lost a sister, a friend, and a fighter who lost that will of fight inside of her.”
Murray said Podmore’s last messages on social media that spoke of the pressures of competing at the highest level – since taken down – would need to be dealt with at some stage.
“With Olivia’s final words she left us a message – a message we wish will never have to be read again by anybody else,” Murray said.
Podmore, from Canterbury, represented New Zealand at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the women’s team sprint event and rode at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships that year.
She won silver in the team sprint and bronze in the time trial at the Junior World Champs in Astana in 2015, and was also the 2017 national keirin champion.
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