US Olympic Cyclist Kelly Catlin Dies Aged 23

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 11 Mar 2019 10:51
Kelly CatlinKelly CatlinPA

Olympic cyclist, Kelly Catlin, has died at the age of 23.


Kelly’s father, Mark Catlin, confirmed the sad news to Velo News yesterday, March 10, saying his daughter had taken her own life.

Kelly, a member of the US women’s pursuit team, won a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She had also earned three consecutive world championship titles with the US women’s pursuit team from 2016-2018, as well as racing with the Rally UHC Pro Cycling Team on road events.

Mark confirmed that Kelly died at her home in California. He told Velo News:


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.

Kelly, from St Paul, Minnesota, was the youngest of a set of triplets, and started cycling aged 17 after she suffered injuries from running.

Kelly CatlinKelly Catlin

In a statement, USA Cycling president and CEO Rob DeMartini wrote:

The U.S. cycling community suffered a devastating loss with the passing of Kelly Catlin, USA Cycling National Team member.

Kelly was more than an athlete to us, and she will always be part of the USA Cycling family.

The entire cycling community is mourning this immense loss.

As well as being a world class cyclist, Kelly was studying for a degree in Computational Mathematics at Stanford University.

The 23-year-old recently wrote about how she manages her time between being a student, a track cyclist and a professional road cyclist, in a journal for Velo News.


She wrote:

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. 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.

Our thoughts are with Kelly’s family and friends at this difficult time.

If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58, and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.

You can also call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.

Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Sport


Velo News and 2 others
  1. Velo News

    Kelly Catlin passes away at 23

  2. USA Cycling


  3. Velo News

    Kelly Catlin journal: Trying to balance grad school and pro racing