US Cycling Medalist Takes Her Life At The Age Of 23
U.S. women’s pursuit team Olympic medalist Kelly Catlin, 23, committed suicide Thursday night after a battle with depression, according to her family.
The Stanford graduate student won silver at the 2016 Olympic games and was training on the national track cycling team while racing as a professional road cyclist and pursuing a degree in computational and mathematical engineering, according to the Post. She was also a talented artist and violinist.
She scored a bronze medal in the individual pursuit race at the track cycling world championships in both 2017 and 2018. She also helped the U.S. team win world titles in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Catlin earned an undergraduate degree in Chinese and biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Catlin long struggled with perfectionism and a work ethic that wouldn’t allow for anything other than the best, according to her father Mark Catlin, the Post reported.
“She gave 110 percent to whatever she was doing,” Mark said. “She couldn’t fulfill what she felt were her obligations to herself, she couldn’t live up to her own standards.”
“What killed her was her own stubborn determination. She had to win at everything,” Colin Catlin, her brother, added, according to the Post.
Following multiple crashes that resulted in a broken arm in October and a concussion in December, the athlete and scholar began embracing nihilism and questioning the point of existence, according to her family members. “Life was meaningless. There was no purpose. This was a person with depression,” her father said.
“She was suicidal, her thinking was really dark, and she had taken to nihilism,” her sister Christine Catlin said, according to the Post. Catlin was a fraternal triplet with one brother, Colin, and sister, Christine.
Authorities managed to prevent Kelly Catlin’s death following her first suicide attempt in January after her family contacted the police upon receiving a letter from Catlin expressing suicidal and racing thoughts, according to the Post.
US Olympic cyclist Kelly Catlin, who helped the women’s cycling team win a silver medal at Rio 2016, has died at the age of 23. pic.twitter.com/Zf784ktYtd
— Breaking News (@of_BreakingNews) March 11, 2019
“The entire cycling community is mourning this immense loss.”
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 11, 2019
The sisterhood of pro cycling is absolutely devastated to hear the news of @kelly_catlin’s death. Suicide claimed this amazing woman, Olympic silver medalist, world champ, Stanford grad student. We’ll never know the weight she carried, but we will carry her in our hearts forever. pic.twitter.com/3slCUPjN26
— Kathryn Bertine (@KathrynBertine) March 10, 2019
“She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape,” Christine Catlin wrote in an email, the Post reported. (RELATED: Woman Cyclist Cries Foul After Biological Male Wins Women’s World Championship)
“We will all miss her dearly. Kelly was more than an athlete to us and she will always be part of the USA Cycling family,” DeMartini said.
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