US Olympic silver medallist and three-time world track champion Kelly Catlin has died of apparent suicide aged 23.
Catlin, who was a member of the USA Cycling national team, was a runner-up in the women’s team pursuit at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and was part of three successive world team pursuit triumphs between 2016 to 2018.
Her brother, Colin, said on Facebook that she had killed herself and wrote: “She’s the one person I had shared almost my entire life with, and I shall miss her terribly.”
USA Cycling confirmed the rider’s death and said it was “deeply saddened” by her passing.
A statement on the team’s website said: “Kelly was more than an athlete to us, and she will always be part of the USA Cycling family.
“We hope everyone seeks the support they need through the hard days ahead, and please keep the Catlin family in your thoughts.”
Catlin was born and raised in Minnesota and was studying a graduate degree in computational mathematics at Stanford University.
She also had an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
In a guest article she wrote for cycling magazine Velo News last month, she described trying to juggle her cycling career and academic studies.
“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 wrote.
The 23-year-old also raced on the road for the Rally UHC Pro Cycling Team, who stated on their official Twitter account that Catlin’s death “hit the team hard”.
“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,” the team said.
A fan who paid tribute to the cyclist in an Instagram post, called her a “hometown hero”.
:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email [email protected] in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.
(c) Sky News 2019: US Olympic silver medal cyclist Kelly Catlin dies aged 23