Teenage Olympic hopeful, Chloe Waddell, 16, dies

Sixteen-year-old Chloe Waddell died in her Manchester home Sunday following a cardiac arrest.

Chloe Waddell, a 16-year-old British swimmer aiming to represent Britain in the 2016 Olympics, died Feb. 3 following a cardiac arrest at her Manchester home.

Waddell's death brought about an outpouring of grief from the swimming community, which was shocked by her sudden death.

According to reports in the British press, Waddell went into cardiac arrest Sunday morning and was found unconscious by her parents, who tried to revive her. She was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Waddell was a member of the Swim Trafford and Altrincham swimming clubs. According to Swimming World magazine, many were expecting Waddell to represent Britain at the 2016 Olympics after watching her compete at the 2012 Olympic Trials against British swimming sensation Rebecca Adlington.

Waddell had attended an awards ceremony Saturday for the Altrincham Swimming Club team, where she received numerous honors, including one for outstanding achievement.

James Stannard, Swim Trafford's head performance coach, said Waddell's death had "rocked" the small squad, the BBC reported.

In a statement, British Swimming described Waddell "as one of the squad's most promising young stars and had gone from strength to strength since joining the squad several years ago." 

Waddell had participated in the National and British Championships in the 200-meter, 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle and open water events.

Waddell's Twitter page paints the picture of a popular 16-year-old, with posts about her school, swim classes and her friends.

"Only half a day in school=the way to start the week!#Monday," said one of her last tweets from Feb. 1.

Police are still investigating the exact cause of Waddell's death but don't believe it to be suspicious.

According to the BBC, Waddell's parents described their daughter as "outgoing," "popular" and "always smiling."

"She was charming and polite, accepting and encouraging," they said in a statement. "She worked incredibly hard. She loved swimming, she was very focused on it and she wanted to go as far as she could. We are very proud of her."

Double World Open Water champion Keri-Anne Payne tweeted: "Such sad news about Swim Trafford swimmer Chloe Waddell who passed away on Sunday. Thoughts are with her family&friends."

 

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