Parents of Stanford soccer star Katie Meyer open up about her death: ‘We’re so heartbroken’
In an emotional interview, the parents of Stanford soccer captain Katie Meyer, who died by suicide this week, said potential disciplinary action from the university might have “triggered something.”
Speaking Friday on NBC’s “Today,” Meyer’s mother, Gina, wearing her daughter’s red sweatshirt, said the situation is “a parent’s worst nightmare, and you don’t wake up from it.”
Meyer, 22, a senior majoring in international relations, was found dead Tuesday night in an on-campus residence, university officials said. The Santa Clara County medical examiner-coroner’s office said late Thursday that the death had been determined to be self-inflicted, and there was no indication of foul play.
Meyer, 22, was a senior majoring in international relations and was team captain and goalkeeper on the Stanford women’s soccer team.
In the interview, Meyer’s parents said they’d spoken to their daughter just hours before her death. Katie was happy and “in great spirits,” Gina said.
But her parents said they believed she may have received an email regarding a disciplinary action. Katie’s father, Steve Meyer, said she had been “defending a teammate on campus over an incident.”
“We have not seen that email yet,” Gina Meyer said. “She had been getting letters for a couple months. This letter was kind of the final letter that there was going to be a trial or some kind of something. This is the only thing that we can come up with that triggered something.”
Stanford University was unable to share information about “confidential student disciplinary matters,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
“Our entire community is devastated by Katie’s death, and we share our deepest condolences with Katie’s family and everyone who knew her at Stanford, across the country and around the world. Katie touched so many lives,” the statement read. “We as a university community continue to grieve with Katie’s family and cherish our memories of her.”
As captain and goalkeeper, Meyer helped lead the Stanford women’s soccer team to an NCAA championship in 2019, officials said. Her penalty kick saves were among the most memorable moments of the championship game against North Carolina.
Her parents expressed concern that between school and sports, it was too much pressure.
“There is anxiety, and there is stress to be perfect, to be the best, to be No. 1,” Gina Meyer said. “We’re so heartbroken.”
If you or someone you know is exhibiting warning signs of suicide, seek help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255).
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