Jack Hatton, one of America’s top judo players, died this week just days after turning 24, the sport’s governing body announced Wednesday.
The 2020 Olympic hopeful, who celebrated his birthday last Friday, had recently competed in the Pan American Games and earned a bronze medal in one of the rounds.
USA Judo announced Tuesday’s “unexpected passing” on Facebook without providing details. But a GoFundMe campaign set up to help his family with funeral costs suggests he struggled with mental health.
“There wasn’t anything wrong with Jack Hatton, he just couldn’t endure anymore,” the campaign organizer, Tony Sangimino, wrote on the website.
It is with extremely heavy hearts that USA Judo announces the unexpected passing of USA Judo national team member, Jack...
Hatton was a New York native and was training at Pedro’s Judo Center in Wakefield, Mass., under two-time Olympic medalist Jimmy Pedro, according to the Team USA website.
“Along with being a top US Judo athlete, Jack was kind-hearted, caring and an all-around great person,” the center said in a tribute posted Wednesday on Facebook. “He was a true role model for students at our dojo and judoka all over the country."
It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the untimely passing of one of our students, teammates, brothers,...
Hatton, who started judo at age 4, was a training partner at the 2015 Summer Olympics in Rio and scored his first grand prix medal in 2017. He was also pursuing a business administration and management degree from DeVry University, according to Team USA.