AceShowbiz - The figure skating world is mourning one of its top athletes. Champion pair skater John Coughlin has passed away at the age of 33. One day after being temporary suspended from the sport amid allegations of sexual misconduct, the former skating partner of Caydee Denney committed suicide. His sister confirmed the sad news.
"My wonderful, strong, amazingly compassionate brother John Coughlin took his own life earlier today," Angela Laune wrote in her Facebook page on Friday, January 18. "I have no words. I love you John. Always Always Brother Bear..." In a following post, she detailed on his funeral. "Funeral for John will be next Tuesday, January 29th and the Visitation will be the day before on the 28th at Christ The King here in Kansas City, MO," she shared.
On Sunday, January 20, Angela was back on Facebook to thank people for their supports. "Dad and I are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support during this time of tremendous grief and mourning," she expressed her gratitude. "We have received so many messages and calls and appreciate each and every one more than can possibly be imagined."
"My brother was loved beyond measure not just by family, but by all of the people that truly knew him. Dad and I are feeling that love. Know that we see the support and appreciate it more than words can express," she continued. "We are trying to respond to everyone while we are also planning for John. We are sending our love out to everyone who has reached out."
Responding to John's tragic passing, U.S. Figure Skating issued a statement of its own. "We are stunned at the news of the death of two-time U.S. pairs champion John Coughlin," the governing body posted on its Twitter account. "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."
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.— U.S. Figure Skating (@USFigureSkating) 19 Januari 2019
Coughlin was a 2011 U.S. champion with partner Caitlin Yankowskas. He was also a 2012 Four Continents silver medalist and a 2012 U.S. national champion with Caydee. Back in December 2018, news got out that SafeSport, an organization that investigates cases of bullying, physical and sexual abuse, limited his eligibility to participate in the sport.
On January 7, Coughlin addressed the allegations against him via email sent to USA TODAY. "While I wish I could speak freely about the unfounded allegations levied against me, the SafeSport rules prevent me from doing so since the case remains pending," he explained. "I note only that the SafeSport notice of allegation itself stated that an allegation in no way constitutes a finding by SafeSport or that there is any merit to the allegation."
SafeSport elevated Coughlin's diciplinary measures to "interim suspension" on Thursday, January 17. Hot on its heels, U.S. Figure Skating also issued a temporary suspension that barred him from participating "in any capacity, in any activity or competition authorized by, organized by, or under the auspices of the United States Olympic Committee."