College Athlete Dead at 20 After Choking in Hot Dog Eating Contest

The college sports world has lost a young star.

Tufts University lacrosse player Madie Nicpon died unexpectedly on Sunday, Oct. 17. She was 20 years old. According to the school, Nicpon was attending a charity fundraiser at an off-campus, private rental property in Somerville, Mass. on Oct. 16 when the accident occurred. Authorities told Rockland/Westchester Journal News the student athlete had been participating in a hot dog eating contest and choked.

“After first responders performed life-saving procedures on site, Madie was transported to Mt. Auburn Hospital and subsequently transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she passed away on Sunday afternoon,” Tufts University said in a message sent to its campus community. 

According to the university’s student newspaper The Tufts Daily, a gathering of support was held by the University Chaplaincy at the school’s Gantcher Center on Oct. 17. The publication, citing an email sent to the Tufts community, reported about 3,000 students, faculty and staff members attended. Mourners were given candles, The Tufts Daily added, and headed to the nearby athletic field, where they placed candles around Nicpon’s jersey. 

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