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Olympic Silver Medalist Kelly Catlin Dies by Suicide at Age 23

Kelly Catlin, professional cyclist and member of the U.S. women’s pursuit team that won a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics, died Thursday night. Catlin was 23 years old.

Her family members confirmed her death was by suicide, and revealed she had previously attempted suicide in January.

The athlete experienced two bike-related accidents, leaving her with a broken arm in October and a concussion in December, which affected her ability to train. Her father told The Washington Post:

After her concussion, she started embracing nihilism. Life was meaningless. There was no purpose. This was a person with depression. For her, she could no longer concentrate on her studies or train as hard. She couldn’t fulfill what she felt were her obligations to herself, she couldn’t live up to her own standards. She couldn’t realize that what she needed to do was get away and rest, heal. We were all searching for the magic words, that life was worth living.

“Kelly was more than an athlete to us, and she will always be part of the USA Cycling family,” president and CEO of USA Cycling, Rob DeMartini, said in a statement. “We hope everyone seeks the support they need through the hard days ahead, and please keep the Catlin family in your thoughts.”

If this news is hard for you, know you are not alone — and there is help for people who feel suicidal. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Header image via Wikimedia Commons/Nicola