Swedish trail runner, Emilia Brangefalt, has passed away at the age of 21 after taking her own life.
Who is Emilia Brangefalt?
The long-distance athlete won bronze in 2022’s Trail World Championships 40km race in Chiang Mai, and this year came fifth in a world championship race in Innsbruck but was forced to take a break from the sport after being diagnosed with an extremely high heart rate.
In a post shared to her Instagram account on November 4, Brangefalt narrated her difficulties, explaining how she had been suffering both physically and mentally after being forced to take a break from the sport.
‘Just taking a walk is painful right now,’ Brangefalt wrote.
Her frustration in words
‘Have been to the hospital and visit the medical over 20 times but every single blood test/ ekg/ cycle test is good. Still my body is super stressed although I have given it so much love the past months’.
‘Maybe it was to much for a 21 year old girl to run Transvulcania 48k and WMTRC 45k with less then one month in between. I am super sad because running and training means so much’, the athlete added.
‘But now, just living a normal life is difficult. I have spent more hours in bed than on my feet this past month. Maybe one day I will be back. Or I won’t. I hope my body can recover from this.’
On Wednesday evening, the Swedish Athletics Federation confirmed that Brangefalt had died by suicide earlier this month.
Their statement read: ‘During her last months, Emilia felt very bad, both physically and mentally. She had good support from those closest to her, but on November 13, she ended her life’.
The statement also included comments from Kasja Bergqvist, the captain of the SAF, who wrote that Brangefalt’s death was ‘so deeply tragic’ that she had ‘a hard time finding words’.
‘I didn’t know Emilia personally but have understood that she was a very nice person, a forward-thinking, lovely, talented girl with her whole life ahead of her,’ she added.
Brangefalt’s running association Vasteras FK also shared a statement on its website, saying that they are all ‘in mourning’.