Madie Nicpon: Star Tufts University student dies after choking at hot-dog eating contest

Tufts released a statement saying Nicpon was in an accident on October 16 at a 'private, rental property' in the town of Somerville


                            Madie Nicpon: Star Tufts University student dies after choking at hot-dog eating contest
Madelyn 'Madie' Nicpon was a star athlete and student leader for the Suffern High School Class of 2019 (NCAA, Tufts University Athletics)
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A high-flying student at Tufts University tragically died on Sunday, October 17, after choking during a hot dog eating contest.

20-year-old Madelyn 'Madie' Nicpon, a star athlete and student leader for the Suffern High School Class of 2019, passed away at a Boston hospital a day after she fell unconscious at a charity fundraiser held off-campus. Nicknamed 'Scooter' on her lacrosse team, she was remembered at a vigil reportedly attended by more than half of the university's 6,000 students, many of whom placed candles around her No 2 jerseys at the somber event. Social media was also inundated with tributes for Nicpon, who was co-president of Suffern's National Honor Society, a Rockland Scholar-Athlete, and whose grade-point average exceeded 4.0 before she left for Tufts University with plans to study medicine.

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Tufts released a statement saying Nicpon was in an accident Saturday afternoon, October 16, at a "private, rental property" in the town of Somerville. The university noted how first responders performed "extensive life-saving procedures" and rushed her to Mt Auburn Hospital in Cambridge before she was transferred to Massachusetts General in Boston, where she died Sunday afternoon, the Journal News reported.

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As mentioned, a vigil held Sunday night was attended by more than 3,000 students, faculty, and staffers from the roughly 6,000-student university. Meanwhile, her lacrosse team's Instagram account posted a lengthy statement alongside a photo of Nicpon running between two lines of her teammates as part of a pre-game ritual.

The lacrosse defender, who was studying biopsychology at Tufts, was deemed a promising prospect after she played four games with the team that finished 10-1 last season. The impact of her tragic demise was evident from the team's Instagram post, which described Nicpon as a "true friend and teammate." They added, "She truly valued her relationships with her teammates and coaches. Her reach was far beyond our team — she was a true connector on campus and touched every single person she met."
 

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Suffern girls lacrosse coach John Callanan, who had known Nicpon seemingly forever, remembered her as "a sweetheart, just a really special kid." The student-athlete lived adjacent to the Suffern High campus with her brothers Brian, Mikey, and parents Kathy, a nurse, and, Chris, a physician. She was a constant fixture at the school, championing youth sports before reaching the high school level. "She was just a bundle of energy and a ray of sunshine, always," Callanan recalled Tuesday, October 19. "She had a great, upbeat personality and an infectious smile. ... She was a ton of fun."

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Meanwhile, Nicpon's former Suffern lacrosse teammate Kimberly Mahecha wrote on a memorial page, "She was kind and caring (and) lit up every room and field she stepped on. She easily became everyone's friend and made an impact on everyone she met. She was the biggest cheerleader for all of her teammates and the biggest hype man during good and bad games."

Funeral services for the pride of Rockland County are slated to be held in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey on Friday and Saturday, the New York Post reported. A GoFundMe campaign in her memory has raised more than $157,000 of its $175,000 goal.

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