Three-time team pursuit world champion and Olympic silver medallist Kelly Catlin has died aged 23, USA Cycling has confirmed. Catlin died on Thursday night at her home in California.
Mark, Catlin’s father, said in a letter to Velonews that she had taken her own life.
The American, who took silver in the team pursuit at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, competed for Rally UHC Cycling on the road but was also studying for a graduate degree in computational and mathematical engineering at Stanford University.
“We are deeply saddened by Kelly’s passing,” USA Cycling president and chief executive Rob DeMartini said in a statement on Sunday.
“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.
“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 team-mates, coaches and staff. We also encourage all those who knew Kelly to support each other through the grieving.”
Catlin won three team pursuit world titles between 2016 and 2018, as well as taking bronze medals in the individual pursuit in the 2017 and 2018 Worlds.
She took Olympic silver in the team pursuit 2016 in Rio, missing out on gold to Great Britain alongside team-mates Sarah Hammer, Chloe Dygert and Jennifer Valente.
Catlin performed best in time trials on the road, and competed in Europe in 2018 at the BeNe Ladies Tour stage race in Belgium and the Prudential RideLondon Classique where she finished 30th.
“The news of Kelly’s passing has hit the team hard,” her team Rally UHC Cycling said in a statement on social media.
“Losing an incredible person at such a young age is very difficult.
“Kelly was our friend and team-mate. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and those who were fortunate enough to know her best.”
In the UK the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.