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Jack Hatton, A Top U.S. Olympic Hopeful In Judo, Dies At 24

By Todd Kortemeier | Sept. 25, 2019, 1:53 p.m. (ET)

(L) Jack Hatton passed away at age 24.


Jack Hatton, one of Team USA’s rising stars in judo and a hopeful for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team, has died. Hatton had just turned 24 on Sept. 20.

In August, Hatton competed at both the world championships in the Pan American Games, making it to the bronze-medal round in the latter event. He was considered one of the top judoka on Team USA. 

The New York native trained at Pedro’s Judo Center in Wakefield, Massachusetts, under two-time Olympic medalist Jimmy Pedro. The center posted a tribute to Hatton on social media Wednesday in announcing his death.

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“Along with being a top US Judo athlete, Jack was kind-hearted, caring and an all-around great person,” the post read. “He was a true role model for students at our dojo and judoka all over the country. He will be deeply missed by all of us at Pedro's Judo Center and the rest of the judo world.”

Hatton started judo at age 4. He got the opportunity to be a training partner at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, something he called an inspiring moment in his career. Hatton scored the first grand prix medal of his career in 2017, and that same year added two gold medals in Pan American Open competition. His grand prix silver medal in Antalya, Turkey, in 2018 was his best international performance. 

Hatton also spent time coaching at Pedro’s Judo Center while pursuing a business administration and management degree from DeVry University. 

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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