Olympic Cyclist Kelly Catlin Found Dead at 23

Kelly Catlin.
Kelly Catlin. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Kelly Catlin, a member of the U.S. Cycling team that won silver at the 2016 Rio Games, was found dead in an apparent suicide. She was 23.

Along with her athletic pursuits, Catlin was pursuing a graduate degree in computational mathematics at Stanford University, where she was living. On Friday evening, the university notified campus that a student had been “discovered by a roommate overnight in their on-campus residence.”

In a letter to cycling magazine VeloNews, the Olympian’s father, Mark Catlin, said that his daughter had died of apparent suicide that evening.

“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.”

In a recent journal on VeloNews, Catlin had opened up about how she struggled to juggle her three careers as a graduate student, track cyclist, and professional road cyclist. While she acknowledged that her readers would want her to give insight into how she “[makes] everything work,” she wrote, “the truth is that most of the time, I don’t make everything work.”

The entire cycling community is also “mourning this immense loss,” USA Cycling chief executive Rob DeMartini said in a statement. After starting to cycle at the age of 17, Catlin rose to prominence on the U.S. national team; between 2016 and 2018, her U.S. cycling team won three consecutive world titles.

“We are deeply saddened by Kelly’s passing, and we will all miss her dearly,” the statement reads. “We hope everyone seeks the support they need through the hard days ahead, and please keep the Catlin family in your thoughts.”

In the U.S., the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

Olympic Cyclist Kelly Catlin Found Dead at 23