Gabi Butler

The competitive cheerleading community was rocked by tragedy this week as Eric Ortiz – a former Louisville Cardinals cheerleader and a 10-time national champion – died suddenly over the weekend at the young age of 30. And upon hearing the news, cheerleading star Gabi Butler was heartbroken.

Gabi Butler, who was one of the stars of the Netflix show Cheer, posted a special tribute to her friend and former teammate after the tragic loss, sharing several pictures of the two together with a heartfelt message.


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A post shared by Gabi Butler (@gabibutler1617)

“My heart is completely torn into a million pieces,” Butler said in an Instagram post on Sunday. “The thought of not being able to hear your laugh or see that beautiful smile shatters me. Eric Ortiz, you were the most beautiful soul i’ve ever met. I wish i could have given you more, because you gave so many people so much of yourself. You walked into a room and it lit up with this bright light. You were full of joy, laughter, happiness, light and love.”

Butler and Ortiz were teammates during their time at GymTyme Blink as Ortiz was one of the bases for Butler, who was a flyer.

“Your memory will live with me forever and I want to thank you for making me feel like i was invincible because you always made me feel like I was on top of the world,” Butler said. “I love you with all my heart and soul Eric… rest easy my angel, you will always be missed and in my heart.”

[Gabi Butler]