U.S. Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin committed suicide on Friday at her California home, according to her father, Mark Catlin.
TMZ says that her father didn’t give many details, but instead spoke about the heartbreak at announcing the death of his daughter at the age of 23.
“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… The hurt is unbelievable.”
USA Cycling CEO Rob DeMartini released a statement in which he spoke of Catlin’s passing. He says that all who knew the athlete are mourning her.
“[T]he entire cycling community is mourning this immense loss. We are offering continuous support to Kelly’s teammates, coaches and staff. We also encourage all those who knew Kelly to support each other through the grieving.”
Catlin was a champion several times over and was working on a degree in computational mathematics at Stanford. Her sister, Christine, explains that Kelly had been different ever since she recently suffered a concussion. She said that Kelly’s behavior had taken a turn as a result of the side effects from the injury.
“She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape. She had suffered a concussion a few months ago and had not been the same mentally ever since.”
Her sister added that Kelly was the kind of person who was good at everything she did, as well as empathetic, kind, and funny. Christine explained that her bond with Kelly was special, as the athlete was the youngest in a set of triplets along with their brother, Colin.
On his Facebook page, Colin Catlin said that he’s at a loss for words after losing one of the people he had spent his entire life with. He added that Kelly was not herself because as a result of the injury, she couldn’t train the same way as she had before. He said that she was having terrible headaches and was sensitive to light, and it threw her off.
Her brother continued saying that she had tried to commit suicide previously, and she sent the other members of her family a suicide note via email to say that she was sorry, but that time, they were able to call authorities and save her. Her siblings said that they are haunted with regret, saying that after that attempt, they thought that Kelly had turned a corner and seemed to finally be optimistic about the future.