Figure Skater John Coughlin's Final Instagram Post Shows Scenic Backyard View

Former figure skater John Coughlin's final Instagram post was published just five days before his death.

Coughlin, 33, shared a photo of his snow-covered backyard in Kansas City, Missouri. "No power last night and not looking good for tonight. Hope everyone is staying warm somehow," the athlete wrote.

The comments section for the photo has since become a venue for memorial messages, with several friends posting heart emojis.

john coughlin instagram
(Photo: Instagram/John Coughlin)

"Rest easy... wish I could watch you skate once more," one person wrote.

"Rest In Peace my friend," a friend wrote.

Coughlin's sister, Angela Laune, announced his death on Facebook late Friday. Kansas City police confirmed to CBS News that his death was a suicide.

"My wonderful, strong, amazingly compassionate brother John Coughlin took his own life earlier today," Laune wrote. "I have no words. I love you John. Always Always Brother Bear..."

"We are stunned at the news of the death of two-time U.S. pairs champion John Coughlin," U.S. Figure Skating said in a statement on Twitter Saturday. "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."

"Yesterday I received the most numbing, devastating, and heartbreaking call," his former coach, Dalilah Sappenfield, wrote on Facebook. "My heart aches incredibly to know John took his life yesterday. His family, the skating community, and I lost a very special man who lived his life with integrity and kindness."

In December, the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which prevents abuse in sports, said Coughlin would be restricted while they investigated him. On Thursday, the day before his death, SafeSport gave Coughlin an interim suspension. U.S. Figure Skating also temporarily suspected him from participating in any U.S. Figure Skating or U.S. Olympic Committee event. According to USA Today, Coughlin also resigned from brand manager at John Wilson Blades on Jan. 8.

It is not clear what the allegations involved, but Coughlin said they were "unfounded."

"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," Coughlin told USA Today. "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."

Coughlin won the U.S. pairs championships in 2011 with Caitlin Yankowskas and in 2012 with Caydee Denney. He also won silver at the 2012 Four Continents Championships in Colorado Springs and competed in the World Championships in 2011 and 2012.


If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Photo credit: Dave Reginek/Getty Images