USA Cycling has named two recipients of the Kelly Catlin Fund, created to honour the memory of the 2016 Olympic silver medallist and three-time World Champion who took her own life in March. Annual grants from the fund will support the Minnesota Cycling Center and emerging women’s track racers through the Kelly Catlin Women's Track Development Grant.
"An exceptional talent, Kelly was passionate about growth potential on and off the bike and in helping others perform at their best," said Rob DeMartini, president and CEO of USA Cycling, "Through the Kelly Catlin Fund, her dedication will continue to make an impact both in the community where she began racing and for future generations of cyclists."
A multi-talented athlete, artist and musician, Catlin began racing as a teenager at the urging of her twin brother, Colin. She quickly rose through the ranks, winning the Minnesota state cyclo-cross championships and then landing on the podium in her first national road championships in 2013 in the Junior 15-18 category.
Catlin won the U23 national title in both the road race and time trial in 2014 and 2015, and the Pan American Games time trial in 2015, but it was on the track where she found the most success as part of USA Cycling's team pursuit squad.
Together with Sarah Hammer, Jen Valente, Ruth Winder and Chloe Dygert, Catlin won the 2016 world championship title and the silver medal in the team pursuit in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. After Hammer's retirement, Kim Geist joined the squad, which went on to win two more world titles. Catlin also earned two bronze medals in the world championships in the individual pursuit in 2017 and 2018.
Catlin, 23, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. She earned bachelor's degrees in biomedical engineering and Chinese from the University of Minnesota in 2018 and was pursuing a master's degree in Computational and Mathematical Engineering at Stanford University. She also competed professionally for trade team Rally UHC Cycling on the road, finishing second in the US criterium championships in Knoxville in 2018.
The new Kelly Catlin Women's Track Development Grant will support the growth of emerging riders, according to USA Cycling, assisting in racing and performance development in women's track cycling.
"We will forever miss Kelly and be proud of all she accomplished," said Mark Catlin, Kelly's father. "She was incredibly strong and so committed to encouraging friends and teammates. It is our hope that others will now have the opportunity to receive access to education, coaching and community support so that they can also achieve racing success."
Located in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Cycling Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a vibrant education, racing and entertainment destination for cyclists and fans of all ages in the Twin Cities area, according to USA Cycling. Once developed, the multi-purpose facility will feature a velodrome, BMX track and fitness center, plus an event center that will provide community cycling programs, after school S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education curriculum, street-level retail and a home for gatherings of all types.
"We are deeply touched and humbled that Kelly's family and USA Cycling have chosen the Minnesota Cycling Center as one of the beneficiaries of the Kelly Catlin Fund," said Jason Lardy, president of the Minnesota MN Cycling Center. "Kelly was generous with her support of our mission and she is profoundly missed by all of us. We will honor her through our continued efforts to build a new velodrome and continue to offer thousands of kids a chance to discover the same passion for track cycling that Kelly embodied."
Catlin began racing as a junior category athlete with the NorthStar Development Team in Minnesota. She first represented Team USA at the 2013 UCI Road World Championships in the junior road race and junior individual time trial.