Kelly Catlin has been on the way up for some time. But at just 23-years-old, she has met an unexpected end. You might remember her as a member of the U.S women’s pursuit team that earned a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The rising star and pro rider for Rally-UHC and multi-time world champion on the track unexpectedly died at the young age of 23.
During a heartbreaking announcement via a letter to VeloNews on Sunday morning, the athlete’s father, Mark Catlin, shared the news. He announced that Kelly died around 12 a.m. on Friday at her residence in California. She has committed suicide.
“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,” his father wrote. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”
Despite her massive success in the athletic arena, Catlin still struggled with depression. This event goes to show that depression is a serious condition that needs to be addressed and can affect people of all lifestyles and types.
In an unprecedented string of success, Catlin earned three consecutive world championship titles with the U.S. women’s pursuit team from 2016 to 2018. She also raced on the Rally UHC Pro Cycling Team on the road. Besides her success in cycling, Catlin also pursued a graduate degree in Computational Mathematics at Stanford University.
Because she was so busy, Catlin recently wrote about how she split her time between her three major pursuits, which was no easy feat.
“Being a graduate student, track cyclist, and professional road cyclist can instead feel like I need to time-travel to get everything done. And things still slip through the cracks. This is probably the point when you’ll expect me to say something cliché like, ‘Time management is everything.’ Or perhaps you’re expecting a nice, encouraging slogan like ‘Being a student only makes me a better athlete!’ After all, I somehow make everything work, right? Sure. Yeah, that’s somewhat accurate. But the truth is that most of the time, I don’t make everything work.”
This article is proof that she was dealing with a lot of stress and feeling like she was not able to succeed at everything she wanted to do in her life.
She came from St. Paul, Minnesota and went to high school in Arden Hills, which is north of Minneapolis.
During a profile with the Star-Ledger, she was described as the youngest of a set of triplets and a multi-talented and smart teenager.
“She is an accomplished violinist who spent spare time while training in Colorado Springs memorizing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, all 35 pages of it. She rides unicycle, can sculpt and draw horses with great detail, favors Creedence Clearwater Revival, may become a pathologist like her father and considers a square of dark chocolate decadent.”
The loss of the young star athlete has been difficult on everyone who knew her and the athletic world at large.