U.S.

Figure Skating Champion John Coughlin Dies in Apparent Suicide One Day After Suspension

Two-times U.S. pairs figure skating champion John Coughlin died on Friday in an apparent suicide, one day after being suspended by the U.S. Center for SafeSport and U.S. Figure Skating.

In a Facebook posting cited by the Associated Press, Coughlin’s sister, Angela Laune, said her "wonderful, strong, amazingly compassionate brother John Coughlin took his own life. ... I have no words." 

She provided no other details about the death. 

GettyImages-461570849 Caydee Denney and John Coughlin skate in the pairs short program during the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden on January 9, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. Getty Images

U.S. Figure skating in a statement Saturday said “We are stunned at the news of the death of two-time U.S. pairs champion John Coughlin. Our heartfelt and deepest sympathies are with his father Mike, sister Angela and the rest of his family. Out of respect to the family, we will have no further comment until a later time.”

In a statement to USA Today, Kansas City police confirmed that Coughlin took his own life, and said police had been dispatched at 4.54 p.m. Friday to find Coughlin dead in a block in the city.

Coughlin had been barred Thursday for unspecified reasons from any activity sanctioned by the USFS or the U.S. Olympic Committee. 

The U.S. Center for SafeSport is a U.S. Olympic Committee agency that investigates allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse.

In 2011 Coughlin won the national pairs championship with partner Caitlin Yankowskas, and again the following year with partner Caydee Denney.

Two-time Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir expressed his shock at the news of Coughlin’s death and pay tribute to him. 

"John Coughlin was a person who made things fun,” he wrote on Twitter. “He was a person who was talented, had an incredible laugh & would go out of his way to cheer someone up. His kindness is something I'll never forget and his light will be missed. My prayers are with his family & friends."

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours every day. If someone you know appears to be contemplating suicide, visit Bethe1To.com for assistance.

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