Kelly Catlin, a U.S. Olympic track cyclist who competed in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games, died of a reported suicide on March 8, reported The Associated Press.
Catlin, 23, won a silver medal with the women’s pursuit team at the 2016 Olympics.
According to the AP, she was found dead at her home in California last week.
The news of Kelly’s passing has hit the team hard. Losing an incredible person at such a young age is very difficult….
Her father, Mark Catlin, told VeloNews that her cause of death was suicide.
“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 Catlin wrote. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”
Her brother, Colin, said on Facebook March 8 that his “sister Kelly committed suicide last night,” SFGate reported.
“She’s the one person I had shared almost my entire life with, and I shall miss her terribly,” he said.
Kelly Catlin, an Olympic U.S. cyclist, has died at the age of 23. Her father says she killed herself.
Other than being a track cyclist, Catlin was a graduate student at Stanford University in the Bay Area, and she was pursuing a degree in computational and mathematical engineering.
She recently wrote a blog post in VeloNews about how she manages her time.
“This is probably the point when you’ll expect me to say something cliche like, ‘Time management is everything,’ ” she wrote. “Or perhaps you’re expecting a nice, encouraging slogan like, ‘Being a student only makes me a better athlete!’ After all, I somehow make everything work, right? Sure. Yeah, that’s somewhat accurate. 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.”
She also wrote that recovery is important as well.
“Now I am going to say something cliche: The greatest strength you will ever develop is the ability to recognize your own weaknesses, and to learn to ask for help when you need it. This is a lesson I have only just begun learning, slowly and painfully, these first few months as a graduate student. 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.”
USA Cycling’s CEO, Rob DeMartini, issued a statement about her death on March 10.
He said, “[T]he entire cycling community is mourning this immense loss. We are offering continuous support to Kelly’s teammates, coaches and staff. We also encourage all those who knew Kelly to support each other through the grieving,” according to Reuters.
Catlin won gold medals with the U.S. women’s team pursuit team at the 2016, 2017, and 2018 world championships. She was a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Reuters reported.
Other details about her death are not clear.
If you are in an emergency in the U.S. or Canada, please call 911. You can phone the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1 800 273 8255. Youth can call the Kids Help Phone on 1800 668 6868.
In Australia, the suicide prevention telephone hotline at Lifeline is 13 11 14. You can also visit the Lifeline website at lifeline.org.au. Youth can contact the Kids Helpline by phoning 1800 551 800 or visiting headspace.org.au/yarn-safe
Reuters contributed to this report.