U.S. Olympian & three-time world champion cyclist Kelly Catlin passed away on Mar. 8.
This is so tragic. U.S. Olympian Kelly Catlin, who helped USA’s women’s pursuit team win a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Games, has passed away at 23 on Mar. 8 in her California home. Here’s what we know about the talented athlete who died.
1. Her father Mark Catlin claimed in a letter that he sent to Velo News that Kelly’s death was a 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 to the publication. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”
2. At 23 years old, Kelly was already a three-time world champion. As a member of the U.S. women’s team pursuit team, she took home the gold at the 2016, 2017 and 2018 world championships.
3. She graduated from the University of Minnesota. On top of that, before her passing, Kelly was pursuing a Computational Mathematics graduate degree at Stanford University.
4. Kelly had previously opened up about how she was balancing her degree, being a track cyclist and a professional road cyclist in a journal entry for Velo News. “Being a graduate student, track cyclist, and professional road cyclist can instead feel like I need to time-travel to get everything done. And things still slip through the cracks,” she told the publication. “This is probably the point when you’ll expect me to say something cliché like, “Time management is everything.” 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.”
5. USA Cycling confirmed her death in a statement. “The U.S. cycling community suffered a devastating loss with the passing of Kelly Catlin,” USA Cycling’s President and CEO Rob DeMartini said. “Kelly was more than an athlete to us, and she will always be part of the USA Cycling family.”