Kelly Catlin, a member of the U.S. women’s pursuit cycling team that won a silver at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, died last week at age 23.
Caitlin’s brother Colin (they’re triplets, along with sister Christine) confirmed that his sister’s death was by suicide in a Facebook post. “She’s the one person I had shared almost my entire life with, and I shall miss her terribly,” he wrote.
“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,” her father, Mark Catlin told VeloNews. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”
Catlin’s sister Christine, told the Washington Post that Kelly was “a really special person—kind, funny, empathetic, and talented at literally everything she did. She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape.”
She also said that her sister started struggling with her mental health last year, after a cycling crash where she broke her arm and suffered a concussion. “She couldn’t train as well as she used to,” Christine Catlin told the Post. “She had really bad headaches and was sensitive to light. Then she tried to commit suicide in January the same way. We called police the moment we got the email and they got there in time to save her that time.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Catlin family,” USA Cycling President Rob DeMartini said in a statement. “Kelly was more than an athlete to us, and she will always be part of the USA Cycling family.”
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