A Tufts University lacrosse player choked to death in a charity hot dog-eating contest over the weekend, according to reports.
Madie Nicpon, a 20-year-old junior described by friends as a generous teammate who planned a career in medicine, was competing with other students in the “Play for Pink” breast cancer awareness fundraiser at an off-campus home in Somerville, Massachusetts, Saturday when the accident happened, a friend told NewsCenter 5.
First responders performed “extensive lifesaving procedures,” Tufts said in a statement. Nicpon was pronounced dead a day later at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Emails from school administrators confirmed her death, the Tufts Daily school newspaper reported. Around 3,000 gathered Sunday for a memorial at the Gantcher Center and mourners made their way to the lacrosse field, where candles were placed around Nicpon’s lacrosse jerseys, the school paper noted.
“We are heartbroken over the loss of Madie Nicpon ’23 - a member of @tufts_lacrosse and an incredible person that reached every corner of the Tufts University Community,” the team said in a statement on Instagram. “Madie will be remembered as a bright light, a social butterfly, an amazing teammate, a kind and generous person, a wonderful sister and daughter and a Jumbo that we can all aspire to emulate,”
Nicpon, a biopsychology major from Suffern, New York, played in three games during the 2021 season and made one appearance in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. She played lacrosse and ran track at Suffern High School and was an Academic All-American, according to her Tufts lacrosse bio.
She is survived by her parents and two brothers.