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Olympics

Suspended figure skater John Coughlin dies at 33

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John Coughlin performs with Caydee Denney during the ISU Figure Skating Eric Bompard Trophy in Paris in 2013.
(Francois Mori / Associated Press)

John Coughlin, a two-time U.S. pairs champion recently suspended from figure skating, died by suicide in Kansas City, Mo., on Friday. He was 33.

U.S. Figure Skating released a statement Saturday citing a Facebook post by Coughlin’s sister, Angela Laune, in which she said her “wonderful, strong, amazingly compassionate brother John Coughlin took his own life. I have no words.”

The Kansas City Police Department said in an email Saturday that officers responded to a call of a suicide at a house in the Country Lanes Estates neighborhood just before 5 p.m. Friday and found Coughlin’s body. Sgt. Jacob Becchina declined to give specifics on the death.

Coughlin received an interim suspension from the U.S. Center for SafeSport and USFS on Thursday for unspecified conduct. He was barred from any activities sanctioned by the skating body or the U.S. Olympic Committee.

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USA Today first reported the death.

USFS said it was “stunned’ by the news and extended “heartfelt and deepest sympathies” to the family. The organization said it would have no further comment “until a later time.”

The International Skating Union also said it was “shocked” and offered “kindest thoughts” in this “time of sorrow.” Coughlin was chair of the ISU athletes commission and a member of a technical committee.

Coughlin won national pairs championships with two partners. He teamed with Caitlin Yankowskas in 2011 and with Caydee Denney the next year.

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