Kelly Catlin suicide death: Three time US Olympic cyclist kills self at her on campus residence at Stanford University. Athlete had been struggling with time demands and mental illness.
Olympic cyclist Kelly Catlin, who helped the US women’s pursuit team win the silver medal at the 2016 Rio games, has killed herself after committing suicide. The woman was 23 years old at the time of her death.
The track cyclist, who was part of the US team pursuit squads that captured world championship titles in 2016, 2017, and 2018, had recently suffered a concussion.
Her sister Christine said that Catlin ‘had not been the same mentally ever since’.
‘[She] was a really special person – kind, funny, empathetic, and talented at literally everything she did,’ Christine told The Washington Post.
‘She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape.’
‘She had suffered a concussion a few months ago and had not been the same mentally ever since.’
Told Caitlin’s father, Mark via VeloNews, ‘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,’
‘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. Officials declined to reveal how the star athlete took her own life. There were no signs of foul play.
Kelly Catlin suicide death: Stanford University student widely mourned.
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 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.’
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, who also took bronze in individual pursuit at the 2017 and 2018 world championships, was also mourned by her professional team Rally UHC Cycling.
‘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.’
“I have to admit that forcing oneself to study for an exam after a double session at the track is challenging, but immensely satisfying.” – @kelly_catlin talks about two medals at @UCI_Track World Champs for @usacycling 👉 https://t.co/Ba2jHcXaZ0 👈 #RoleModel #MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/jAZIOx2XNd
— Rally UHC Cycling (@RallyUHCcycling) March 5, 2018
Kelly Catlin suicide death: Op-ed written by athlete hints at discord.
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’.
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 last week.
I didn’t know Kelly Catlin, but the sad news of her passing has hit hard. I have never had depression, but I know people who have, and I can’t imagine what it’s like to try and deal with it. If you do, follow Phil’s advice.
Thoughts with everyone that did know Kelly. https://t.co/7ISIjsyugR
— Daniel Lloyd (@daniellloyd1) March 10, 2019