US Olympic Cyclist Dies by Suicide

Kelly Catlin was 23
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2019 3:45 AM CDT
Updated Mar 11, 2019 6:50 AM CDT
US Olympic Medalist Kelly Catlin Dead at 23
Team USA with Jennifer Valente, Kelly Catlin, Chloe Dygert and Kimberly Geist show their gold medals after the women's team pursuit final at the World Championships Track Cycling in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, Thursday, March 1, 2018.   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

USA Cycling says it has suffered a "devastating loss" with the death of Kelly Catlin, a track cyclist who helped the women's pursuit team win silver at the 2016 Rio Games. Relatives say the 23-year-old died by suicide at her Stanford University campus residence Friday night, Reuters reports. "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," father Mark Catlin tells VeloNews. "There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable." Catlin won gold with the US women's team at the world championships in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Catlin, who grew up in Minnesota, was one of a set of triplets. Sister Christine Catlin tells the Washington Post that Kelly was "a really special person—kind, funny, empathetic, and talented at literally everything she did. She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape.” She says her sister's mental health suffered after crashes last year in which she broke her arm and suffered a concussion. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Catlin family," USA Cycling President Rob DeMartini said in a statement. "The entire cycling community is mourning this immense loss." (More Olympians stories.)

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