More than 100 people attended the funeral service for Olympian and former World Champion Melissa Dennis (née Hoskins) in Perth, Australia, on Wednesday.
The service was held at West Chapel at Fremantle Cemetery, where she was remembered as a daughter, sister and mother in a touching eulogy delivered by her father.
“We’re celebrating a life today that was cut way too short. Melissa was just warming up … her best performances were yet to come. We are grieving, all of us. There should have been more.”
Hoskins died on New Year’s Eve after the mother-of-two, who was married to Rohan Dennis, was allegedly hit by a vehicle in Adelaide on the evening of December 30. She died from her injuries in the hospital the following morning, and Dennis was reportedly charged with causing death by dangerous driving, driving without due care and endangering life.
Dennis, who has been released on bail and is due to appear in court on March 13, attended the funeral service.
The death of Hoskins – who raced on the track and road until retiring from professional cycling in 2017 – sparked an outpouring of shock and sadness.
During her career, Hoskins competed in the Team Pursuit for Australia at two Olympics, winning gold in the same event at the 2015 World Championships.
She also won five medals at the track World Championships and finished on the podium three times in the team time trial at the road World Championships.
“When Melissa retired, she reset her goals,” her father said, according to a report from ABC News. “It’s time to become a champion mum … Mel was the rock for her family.”
During the service, attendees were told of Hoskins’ upbringing in Kalamunda. Her childhood was remembered for her love of climbing trees and bike riding. She was also remembered for her love of music, dancing and cooking.
“I will always think of you when I’m cooking, as the kitchen is a happy place for both of us,” her sister said.
Gary Sutton, Hoskins’ former coach, spoke during the service, saying that it was a privilege to have known her during her career.
“She’s one of the best team players I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. Always putting the needs and best interests of the team first, before her own. We loved her like a daughter.”