Kelly Catlin had died. Her family confirmed that she committed suicide last week. She is survived by her parents, Carolyn Emory and Mark Catlin, her sister, Christine, and brother, Colin. Catlin was just 23 years old.
Catlin was a professional racing cyclist who rode for UCI Women’s Team Rally UHC Cycling. She earned a Silver medal in cycling in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
“The U.S. cycling community suffered a devastating loss with the passing of Kelly Catlin, our USA Cycling National Team member. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Catlin family. Kelly was more than an athlete to us, she was and will always be part of the USA Cycling family. This is an incredibly difficult time for the Catlin family and we want to respect their privacy while they support each other,” read a statement from USA Cycling.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Committed Suicide According to Her Family
On Friday, March 8, Catlin’s roommate discovered her body in their dorm room at Stanford University in California.
“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. There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable,” Catlin’s father Mark wrote in an email to Velo News.
Just last month, Velo News published a guest post that Catlin wrote. In the blog-type post, Catlin compared balancing things in her life to “juggling with knives.”
“The truth is that most of the time, I don’t make everything work. It’s like juggling with knives, but I really am dropping a lot of them. It’s just that most of them hit the floor and not me,” she wrote. You can read the full post here.
2. She Was a Student at Stanford University Where She Studied Chinese & Mathematics
Catlin graduated from Mounds View High School in 2014 and later enrolled at the University of Minnesota where she studied Biomedical Engineering and Chinese, according to her profile on the Team USA website.
“It’s official: despite absences for the @Olympics, I have just graduated in four years from the University of [Minnesota] with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, summa cum laude. Now onwards to more cycling! And more school @Stanford! When you pedal in circles, it never ends,” Catlin tweeted in May of last year.
After graduation, she decided to further her education. She enrolled at Stanford University in California where she studied Chinese and math.
“As a student in Chinese and Mathematics, I aim to earn a command of Chinese adequate to participate fully in natural conversation,” her LinkedIn bio reads, in part.
3. She Was a Fraternal Triplet
Catlin was a fraternal triplet. She had one sister and one brother.
“Fraternal triplets are formed when three separate eggs are fertilized by three separate sperm. The babies can be the same or opposite genders. This means that it’s possible to have any one of the following combinations of babies – three girls/three boys or, one girl and two boys or two girls and one boy,” according to Huggies.
4. She Won a Silver Medal in Cycling at the 2016 Summer Olympics
In the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Catlin took home a Silver medal in her discipline; cycling. That same year, Catlin won a gold medal in Team pursuit at the World Championship Experience.
“I am also a competitive cyclist in road racing, track, and cyclocross. Though I have only been racing for four years, cycling has already come to define much of who I am as a person. I am also a proud member of the US National Team and the 2016 US Olympic Team, where I competed in the team pursuit and earned a silver medal with my team,” reads her LinkedIn bio, in part.
Catlin was still training and competing in her discipline at the time of her passing. Just last year, Catlin won first place in Team pursuit and 3rd in Individual pursuit at the UCI Track World Championships.
5. She Played the Violin & Worked at an Assisted Living Facility
In addition to cycling and her college studies, Catlin was also a musician and was dedicated to playing the violin. She often tweeted about playing violin and was very dedicated to music.
In addition to playing an instrument, Catlin worked as an activity coordinator at an assisted living facility called Johanna Shores. While it’s unclear if she was still working at the facility at the time of her death, she started working there in 2010, according to LinkedIn.
“Working at a senior living facility has both joys and sorrows. While being faced with the realities of human frailty is challenging, being part of the opportunity to enrich lives during this period of life is especially rewarding. I have designed music programs to perform on my violin, and their wonder and curiosity was moving. This very curiosity also allowed me to have the role of teacher: talking about music, learning about the residents’ own experiences, and just socializing. Every day brings an opportunity for enrichment for both the residents and myself, as every day is a gift,” she described the role on her LinkedIn page.