College track star Sarah Shulze has tragically passed away.
The 21-year-old cross country star from California, who had just finished her junior year competing for the University of Wisconsin, suddenly and unexpectedly died by suicide on April 13, according a statement from her family released on her personal website.
In the information confirming her passing, Sarah’s family shared details about the “single, desperate moment” that altered the course of their lives forever, writing:
“We suddenly and tragically lost our dear Sarah on Wednesday, April 13. She was surrounded by her loving family. Sarah took her own life. Balancing athletics, academics and the demands of every day life overwhelmed her in a single, desperate moment. Like you, we are shocked and grief stricken while holding on tightly to all that Sarah was.”
Shulze, who was originally from Ventura County, California, had been known for her strong athletic performances in track and cross country. She was been named to the Big Ten Conference All-Academic Team in both 2020 and 2021, according to CBS News.
Mourning her untimely passing, Sarah’s family added:
“Sarah regarded herself as a champion for all women, as did the many family members, friends, students and athletes who surrounded her. Sarah’s legacy of compassion will continue as she and her family prepare for the donation of her organs on this Good Friday. The Shulze family will also soon announce a foundation that will be established to continue to support the causes most important to Sarah. We thank you for respecting our family’s privacy during this time. We also thank you for your love and strength as we are all just beginning to mourn this unexpected and unfathomable loss.”
At the end of last week, the University of Wisconsin also shared a statement about their beloved track star’s death. Explaining the team’s fraught emotions amid the sad situation, the Badgers shared:
“Sarah was a beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend, teammate and Badger student-athlete. We extend our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to Sarah’s family, friends and Badger teammates during this extraordinarily difficult time. Our primary focus is the support of the Shulze family and our student-athletes.”
More optimistically, on Friday, Shulze’s family announced that they were initiating the Sarah Shulze Foundation, a non-profile seeking to support women’s rights and mental health. The late track star’s loved ones — parents Brigitte Shulze and Scott Shulze, and sisters Abbey and Ella — revealed the news as another update on Sarah’s website:
“The Shulze Family is proud to announce that we have set up the Sarah Shulze Foundation to continue to support the causes most important to our Sarah. The Sarah Shulze Foundation will seek to advance and support Women’s Rights, Student Athletes and Mental Health. It is our wish that in lieu of flowers, family and friends offer support to the Foundation, in various ways, in the weeks and months ahead. Please check back for future updates. Again, we thank you for your love and support.”
You can read more about that HERE.
We send our condolences to Sarah’s family during this sad, trying time.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, someone is there to help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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