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Family's grief after Rio death

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Fri 05 Aug 2016

Family's grief after Rio death

THE family of Bradford on Avon’s Zoe Louise Robinson have described their shock after discovering the 21-year-old had fallen to her death from the ninth floor of a hotel in Brazil during the Olympics.


Miss Robinson is understood to have fallen to her death from the ninth floor of the Bahia do Sol Hotel in Salvador at about 5am on Sunday.


According to Brazilian newspaper Correio, a taxi driver saw Miss Robinson fall from a window and reports in Brazil indicate that her death is being investigated by police.



A family statement, issued by the Foreign Office, said: “Words cannot describe the shock and grief our family is experiencing following the loss of Zoe.


“While we mourn her loss, we also celebrate Zoe’s remarkable life.


“Zoe was our loving daughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend. She was determined, bright and funny.


“Zoe was a keen and dedicated student at St Laurence School, Bradford on Avon, and then at Aston University where she was studying.


“She was on track to fulfil her ambition of a first class honours degree in international business and management.



“Zoe’s kind, generous and altruistic nature sent her to all corners of the globe, including volunteering with children in Brazil.



“Zoe will be sorely missed by all who knew her. We will take our time in determining the best way to honour Zoe moving forward.


“We will not be making any further comments on this tragedy and ask everyone, especially the media, to allow us the privacy we need to grieve away from the public eye.”


Miss Robinson, who was studying at Aston University in Birmingham, had spent the past year in Germany on an Erasmus Scholarship.


She is believed to have been working in Brazil as a volunteer in Juazeiro, a city about 500km from Salvador, which is on the east coast of Brazil, north of Rio de Janeiro.


Ms Robinson is understood to have been with two friends and had gone to watch the Olympic football match between Nigeria and Denmark at the Fonte Nova Arena before the tragedy.



Miss Robinson lived in Bradford on Avon with her father Anthony, mum Shella and younger sister Hannah, who had also attended St Laurence School.


When she was last in the UK it is understood that Miss Robinson worked at the New Inn in Westwood.


Fergus Stewart, headteacher at St Laurence School in Bradford on Avon, said: “All of us are devastated by the tragic news about Zoe. She was a popular and successful student, with a bright future ahead of her. Staff remember her kind, caring nature as well as her modesty and incredible work ethic. She was an inspiration to so many of her peers and younger students. Her family and friends are very much in our thoughts.”


Bradford on Avon councillor Laurie Brown said he was shocked at the news. “She had her whole life in front of her, all you can say is what a tragedy.


“I think people in the area will take a deep intake of breath when they find out.


“For all the good news we’re getting out of Rio and the Olympics it just brings home how vulnerable people can be.”


“I have got kids not much older than that and so has my partner Joanna and other councillors, all we can do is take stock at something as tragic as this.”


Bradford on Avon councillor John Potter said: “It is terrible news and at such a young age is just awful. To pass away at 21 is far too soon, that really is very sad.


“I am sure everyone will be sorry to hear that. That really is shocking. To pass away at 21 is far too soon and very upsetting. I wish the best to her family and friends at this very sad time.”

Report WILTSHIRE TIMES - Stefan Mackley