Suspended Pairs Skating Champion John Coughlin Dies at 33

January 19, 2019 Updated: January 19, 2019

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

Coughlin Death Figure Skating
Bronze medalists Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, of the United States, smile during an award ceremony at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston, on Jan. 11, 2014, (Steven Senne/AP Photo)

U.S. Figure Skating released a statement Saturday and cited his sister, Angela Laune. The sister said in a Facebook post that her “wonderful, strong, amazingly compassionate brother John Coughlin took his own life. … I have no words.” There were no further details from her.

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 in Kansas City 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.

Caydee Denney, John Coughlin
U.S. figure skating pairs Caydee Denney and John Coughlin speak with reporters during a news conference in Park City, Utah.,on Oct. 1, 2013. (Rick Bowmer/AP Photo ,File)

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.

Pairs Skaters Caydee Denney and John Coughlin pose for a portrait during the USOC Media Summit ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Park City, Utah on Oct. 1, 2013. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Caydee Denney and John Coughlin skate in the pairs free skate during the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on Jan. 11, 2014. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Caydee Denney and John Coughlin of the USA perform in the Paris Free Skating during day two of Trophee Eric Bompard ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/2014 at the Palais Omnisports de Bercy in Paris, France on Nov. 16, 2013. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Here is information on suicide prevention from the National Institute of Mental Health. If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

If you or someone you know is showing signs that they might be suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 800-273-TALK. You can also text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin celebrate after getting their score for the pairs free skate during the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at HP Pavilion on January 29, 2012 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Jeff Chiu-Pool/Getty Images)
Caydee Denney and John Coughlin compete in the Pairs Free Skate during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at World Arena on February 12, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Caydee Denney and John Coughlin skate in the pairs short program during the Skate America competition at the ShoWare Center on October 19, 2012 in Kent, Washington. (Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin of the USA perform in the Paris Free Skating during day two of Trophee Eric Bompard ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2013/2014 at the Palais Omnisports de Bercy on November 16, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin of the United States perform in the Pairs Free Skate Competition during the 2008 Skate America at the Comcast Arena on October 25 2008 in Everett, Washington. Skate America, the first Grand Prix event of the season will run from October 24-26. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA – JANUARY 29: Caydee Denney and John Coughlin pose for photographers after winning the Pairs Competition during the 2012 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the HP Pavilion on January 29, 2012 in San Jose, California. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – FEBRUARY 12: (EDITORS NOTE: ALTERNATE CROP) Caydee Denney and John Coughlin watch their routine in the Kiss & Cry after the Pairs Free Skate during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at World Arena on February 12, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – FEBRUARY 12: Flanked by their coaches Larry Ibarra and Dalilah Sappenfield, Caydee Denney and John Coughlin watch their routine in the Kiss & Cry after the Pairs Free Skate during the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships at World Arena on February 12, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – APRIL 25: Figure skaters Caydee Denney and John Coughlin pose for a portrait during the USOC Portrait Shoot on April 25, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Harry How/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – APRIL 25: Figure skaters John Coughlin and Caydee Denney pose for a portrait during the USOC Portrait Shoot on April 25, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Harry How/Getty Images)
Figure skaters Caydee Denney and John Coughlin pose for a portrait during the USOC Portrait Shoot on April 25, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Harry How/Getty Images)

 

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