Olympic cyclist Kelly Catlin, who helped the US women’s pursuit team win the silver medal at the 2016 Rio games, has died at the age of 23.
Catlin’s family confirmed that she took her own life.
The track cyclist was part of the US team pursuit squads that captured world championship titles in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
US cyclist Kelly Catlin, shown at the 2018 World Championships, has died at age 23. Her family confirmed she took her own life
USA Cycling president Rob DeMartini announced news of Catlin’s death on Sunday.
‘The US cycling community suffered a devastating loss with the passing of Kelly Catlin,’ he said in a statement.
‘Kelly was more than an athlete to us and she will always be part of the USA Cycling family.’
‘The entire cycling community is mourning this immense loss. We are deeply saddened by Kelly’s passing, and we will all miss her dearly.’
Catlin (pictured second from left) helped the US women’s pursuit team win the silver medal at the 2016 Rio games
Catlin’s father told VeloNews that his daughter committed suicide on Thursday night.
‘There isn’t a minute that goes by that we don’t think of her and think of the wonderful life she could have lived,’ Mark wrote.
‘There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.’
Catlin’s roommate found her dead at their on-campus residence at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. There were no signs of foul play.
Catlin’s brother Colin confirmed in a Facebook post that the cyclist had taken her own life
Catlin was the youngest in a fraternal set of triplets that included her brother Colin (pictured here together)
Catlin’s triplet sister Christine posted this photo of the girls shortly after Catlin’s death
Catlin, Colin, and Christine are all pictured in this family photo Christine shared to Facebook this week
The star athlete had been working on a graduate degree in Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford. She had graduated from the University of Minnesota last year with undergraduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Chinese.
Catlin was the youngest in a set of triplets that included her sister Christine and brother Colin, who posted about her death on his Facebook page.
‘My sister Kelly committed suicide last night,’ he wrote. ‘She’s the one person I had shared almost my entire life with, and I shall miss her terribly.’
Catlin, who also took bronze in individual pursuit at the 2017 and 2018 world championships, was also mourned by her professional team Rally UHC Cycling.
Catlin’s roommate found her dead in their on-campus residence at Stanford University. There were no signs of foul play. She is pictured here at the 2018 World Championships
Catlin was part of the US team pursuit squads that captured world titles in 2016, 2017 and 2018. She is pictured here after winning the Women’s Team Pursuit Finals at the UCI World Cycling Championship in 2017
‘The news of Kelly’s passing has hit the team hard,’ Rally UHC Cycling wrote in a Twitter posting. ‘Losing an incredible person at such a young age is very difficult.
‘Kelly was our friend and teammate. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and those who were fortunate enough to know her best.’
Less than two weeks before her death, Catlin posted an op-ed on VeloNews about her struggles with juggling life as a graduate student, competitive track cyclist, and professional road cyclist.
She wrote of the moment she had just finished second at the Berlin World Cup in May and how things were ‘finally looking up’ in the ‘run-in to the 2020 Olympics’.
The star athlete had been working on a graduate degree in Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford at the time of her death. She is pictured here at the Rio Olympics
Less than two weeks before her death, Catlin posted an op-ed about her struggles with juggling life as a graduate student, competitive track cyclist, and professional road cyclist
Doug Schmidt said that the article written by his ‘gifted’ cousin was ‘painful’ to read. ‘It seems everything piled up and she felt there was no way out,’ he wrote on Facebook
But when Catlin stepped off the podium, the US National Team coach told her she would need to retake a three-hour final exam for one of her classes at Stanford.
‘This is probably the point when you’ll expect me to say something cliche like, “Time management is everything,”‘ Catlin wrote.
‘But the truth is that most of the time, I don’t make everything work. It’s like juggling with knives, but I really am dropping a lot of them. It’s just that most of them hit the floor and not me.’
Catlin wrote that she had only ‘just begun’ to learn the ability to recognize her ‘own weaknesses’ and to ‘ask for help when you need it’.
‘I still fail,’ she wrote. ‘As athletes, we are all socially programmed to be stoic with our pain, to bear our burdens and not complain, even when such stoicism reaches the point of stupidity and those burdens begin to damage us.’
‘These are hard habits to break.’
Catlin had withdrawn from Team USA for the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Poland, which took place just last week.
Catlin (pictured second from front) is seen competing during the Team Pursuit track cycling event during the 2016 Olympic games in Rio
Catlin was also a talented violinist, and revealed in a 2016 profile that she had memorized all 35 pages of Tchaikovsk’s Violin Concerto in D Major in her spare time
Doug Schmidt said that the article written by his ‘gifted’ cousin was ‘painful’ to read.
‘It seems everything piled up and she felt there was no way out,’ he wrote on Facebook. ‘This gifted athlete’s struggle will fade because she was not a football or baseball player in the US and we do not really pay attention to cycling.’
‘Too often the athletes in lesser known sports have to juggle multiple careers if they want to pursue their passion, often to the detriment of their own body and minds.’
‘RIP Kelly, may your final climb up the mountain be a good one.’
Catlin grew up in St Paul, Minnesota. She only picked up cycling at age 17 but quickly rose to prominence in the sport.
She was also a talented violinist, and revealed in a 2016 profile that she had memorized all 35 pages of Tchaikovsk’s Violin Concerto in D Major in her spare time.
For confidential support call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
Catlin wrote that she had only ‘just begun’ to learn the ability to recognize her ‘own weaknesses’ and to ‘ask for help when you need it’