Olympian Kelly Catlin died of an apparent suicide at age 23 on Friday, March 8. The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed to Us Weekly that Catlin’s cause of death was asphyxia.
The U.S. Olympic track cyclist’s father, Mark Catlin, broke the sad news in a letter to VeloNews on Sunday, March 10. “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,” he wrote. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”
The Minnesota native, who was pursuing a graduate degree in computational mathematics, was found dead in her on-campus residence at Stanford University in California. “Stanford is deeply saddened to confirm the death of Kelly Catlin,” a statement on the university’s website read. “A first-year master’s student in computational and mathematical engineering. The university has been in touch with Kelly’s family to extend our heartfelt condolences. Stanford mourns Kelly’s loss, and our deepest sympathies are with her family, friends and loved ones.”
USA Cycling president and CEO, Rob DeMartini, also released a heartfelt statement on Sunday, March 10.
“The U.S. cycling community suffered a devastating loss with the passing of Kelly Catlin, USA Cycling National Team member. Kelly was more than an athlete to us, and she will always be part of the USA Cycling family,” DeMartini wrote on the official website for USA Cycling. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Catlin family. This is an incredibly difficult time and we want to respect their privacy. The 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. We are deeply saddened by Kelly’s passing, and we will all miss her dearly. We hope everyone seeks the support they need through the hard days ahead, and please keep the Catlin family in your thoughts.”
Among her other accolades, Kelly helped lead the U.S. women’s pursuit team to win the silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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