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Olympic Cyclist Kelly Catlin Found Dead At Age 23

Colin333 / Nicola - Wikimedia

Kelly Catlin, 23, one of the cyclists who led the U.S. women's pursuit team to win a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was found dead at her California home Friday.

The bicyclist from Minneapolis was a prominent member of the U.S. national team and a three-time world champion who also raced on the pro cycling team Rally UHC.

Catlin's father, Mark, told VeloNews that she had taken her own life. Catlin's brother, Colin, said the same thing in a Facebook post about his sister's death.

Kelly Catlin Olympics
Catlin (far right) competing in the 2016 Olympics.Colin333 - Wikimedia

"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," Mark wrote in a letter to the outlet.

"There isn't a second in which we wouldn't freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable."

Catlin's siblings (and her triplets) Colin and Christine revealed to The Washington Post that the cyclist had been struggling since breaking her arm and suffering a concussion in a pair of crashes last year.

"She couldn't train as well as she used to," Christine said.

Kelly Catlin
Catlin wears her gold medal at last year's UCI Track World Championships.Nicola - Wikimedia

She had really bad headaches and was sensitive to light. Then she tried to commit suicide in January the same way. She had written this lengthy email [to her family] and said her thoughts were racing all the time. She was suicidal, her thinking was really dark, and she had had taken to nihilism. We called police the moment we got the email and they got there in time to save her that time.

Rob DeMartini, the chief executive of USA Cycling, issued a statement on Sunday saying "the 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."

Before her death, Catlin was studying to earn a graduate degree in computational mathematics from Stanford.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "help" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

[H/T: ESPN, VeloNews, E! News]

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Catlin's friends and family.

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