Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Three-time world champion Kelly Catlin dies aged 23

USA team pursuit rider has spoken recently of the difficulty of balancing sporting and academic careers

Three-time world team pursuit champion Kelly Catlin has died at the age of 23.

News of her death was announced by USA Cycling president and chief executive Rob DeMartini.

In a post published on the organisation’s website, he wrote: "We are deeply saddened by Kelly's passing.

"We will all miss her dearly. Kelly was more than an athlete to us and she will always be part of the USA Cycling family.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Catlin family. This is an incredibly difficult time and we want to respect their privacy.

"The entire cycling community is mourning this immense loss. We are offering continuous support to Kelly's team-mates, coaches and staff.

“We also encourage all those who knew Kelly to support each other through the grieving."

As well as the three world titles she won in the team pursuit from 2016-18, Catlin was part of the USA team that took silver in the event at the Rio Olympics three years ago.

She also had two world championship bronze medals in the individual pursuit, but was not in the USA team for the most recent edition in Pruszkow, Poland, the week before last.

On the road she competed for Rally UHC, which wrote on Twitter: “The news of Kelly’s passing has hit the team hard.

“Losing an incredible person at such a young age is very difficult.

“Kelly was our friend and teammate.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and those who were fortunate enough to know her best.”

Catlin graduated last year with degrees in mathematics and Chinese from the University of Minnesota and was undertaking postgraduate studies in computational and mathematical engineering at Stanford University in California.

In a post on Facebook on Friday. Her brother Colin confirmed that Catlin had taken her own life, adding: “She's the one person I had shared almost my. entire life with, and I shall miss her terribly.”

In an article published last month by VeloNews, Catlin wrote of the struggle she had in trying to balance her sporting and athletic careers.

She said: "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

"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."

Her sister Christine – she, Kelly and Colin are triplets – told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press: “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.

“She was overtraining, and she needed a break. She clearly needed a break after the concussion because she couldn’t train as hard as she used to.

“She was seeing bright lights, getting horrible headaches and having racing thoughts, and still trying to go as hard as ever.”

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo [at] ">jo [at] in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Latest Comments