[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Australian Olympic hopeful Brittany George, an aerial skier, was found dead in Brisbane on January 27. She was reported missing from the same area on January 21. The 24-year-old reportedly died by suicide, according to 7News AU. The young athlete competed in major competitions around the world and was a member of the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia from 2017 to 2020 before a heartbreaking back injury cut short her journey to the Beijing Games.
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In October, Brittany discussed her struggle with leaving the sport behind on the Couching the Mind podcast. She reflected:
“It has literally been my whole life, I’ve been ‘the athlete’ from when I was 2 until when I was 20 or 21. I did not have an identity. I was labeled ‘the athlete’ from a very young age and just rode with it… everything went second-hand to sport. … You’re an athlete, but who am I? Who am I as a person? Who is Brittany? I don’t know that. I struggle every day to know who that is.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up in her name to cover funeral costs, with remaining funds “donated to Lifeline, a non-profit organization providing 24/7 crisis support.” The page read:
“On Thursday, 27th of January 2022, our world stopped as we heard the devastating news that our beloved Brittany had passed away.
Anyone who knew Brittany, knew that she was determined and courageous, whilst also caring and kind. This was exemplified by her esteemed attributes as a former professional Elite Gymnast, and former Olympic Freestyle Aerial Skier with the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia. Travelling the world to do this, she met and impacted so many people’s lives in such a positive way that I am sure would last a lifetime.
Always willing to support anyone who needed a hand with such selfless commitment, it was an honour to be called her family or friend.”
Speaking with Courier-Mail (per People), her father Constantine Gus said:
“She had the athletic prowess to adopt anything she tried and excel with it, but had that extra driven mentality to perfect her craft, which not many people will ever have. … Just an amazing, beautiful soul.”
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Jayden Woolaston, host of the Couching the Mind podcast, shared:
“She’s a very loving and caring person. A very genuine person that if you were in trouble, or you were needing to have a chat with her, she’d be the first person to put her hand up.”
So, so sad. Our hearts go out to Brittany and her family during this difficult time.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
[Image via GoFundMe]