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Star student at Tufts University, 20, chokes to death during a charity hot dog-eating contest

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Star student at Tufts University, 20, chokes to death during a charity hot dog-eating contest

  • Madie Nicpon, 20, from Suffern, New York, died on Sunday afternoon
  • She was participating in a charity hot dog eating contest on Saturday with other students from Tufts University in Massachusetts
  • A biopsychology major, she was at a rental house in Somerville when the accident happened and was taken to hospital in Boston, dying the next day
  • She was on the women’s lacrosse team and remembered by her family as ‘a beautiful and brilliant daughter, granddaughter, sister, and friend’
  • A vigil for Nicpon on Sunday evening saw 3,000 people pay their respects and participate in a candlelit procession to Bello Field, home of the sports teams 










A 20-year-old student at Tufts University in Massachusetts died on Sunday after choking during a hot dog eating contest.

Madie Nicpon, from Suffern, New York, was with other students at the elite academic institution on Saturday afternoon when the accident happened.

Nicpon, a star of the women’s lacrosse team, had gathered with her friends at a privately rented house in Somerville, the town surrounding the university.

She was given ‘extensive life-saving procedures’ on the scene, Tufts said, and was taken to Mt Auburn Hospital in Cambridge.

She was then transferred to Massachusetts General in Boston, where she died on Sunday afternoon. 

Madie Nicpon, who played number 2 on the Tufts University lacrosse team, died on Sunday, the day after choking during a charity hot dog eating contest

Madie Nicpon, who played number 2 on the Tufts University lacrosse team, died on Sunday, the day after choking during a charity hot dog eating contest

Nicpon, in a blue dress, was remembered as someone whose 'contagious smile and laughter lit up every room'

Nicpon, in a blue dress, was remembered as someone whose ‘contagious smile and laughter lit up every room’

Her family described her as ‘a beautiful and brilliant daughter, granddaughter, sister, and friend.’ 

They said: ‘Her contagious smile and laughter lit up every room. Her generosity and kindness has left a lasting impact on those around her.’

On Sunday evening 3,000 people attended a vigil for her at the university, before participating in a candlelit procession to Bello Field, where the lacrosse team play.

‘The number of community members who turned out to lend support to each other, to Madie’s friends, and to her family was a testament to how many lives Madie touched during her time at Tufts,’ said the university. 

Nicpon was nicknamed ‘Scooter’ on her team, and students placed candles around her No. 2 jerseys at the vigil.

Candles were laid beside Nicpon's lacrosse shirt during a vigil on Sunday evening

Candles were laid beside Nicpon’s lacrosse shirt during a vigil on Sunday evening

A floral tribute was placed beneath a white cross, in memory of Nicpon

A floral tribute was placed beneath a white cross, in memory of Nicpon

Nicpon's teammates posted a tribute to her on Instagram with her jersey number

Nicpon’s teammates posted a tribute to her on Instagram with her jersey number

Her lacrosse team posted a glowing tribute to her on Instagram, with a photo of her running onto the field in her team outfit.

She made it to the team for one game as a freshman, and three last spring as a sophomore. 

‘Scooter was a true friend and teammate,’ said Tufts Lacrosse. 

‘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.

‘She has and will continue to inspire us every day. We should all strive to live life a little bit more like Scooter did — a person that valued love, loyalty, compassion and friendship.

‘Please keep the Nicpon family in your thoughts and consider donating to the GoFundMe in our bio.

‘“True friends are never apart, maybe in distance but never at heart.”

‘We love you, Scooter. Keep dancing from above.’

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