Jack Hatton, a rising USA judo player and a hopeful for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, passed away suddenly at age 24. His death was confirmed by the USA Judo website. While the “unexpected passing” was announced this week, he reportedly lost his life on September 24.
“It is with extremely heavy hearts that USA Judo announces the unexpected passing of USA Judo national team member, Jack Hatton. We extend our sincere condolences to the Hatton Family, and Jack’s teammates, coaches and friends. Jack was one of America’s top judo players and was a multi-time medalist for USA Judo in various competitions across the globe,” a statement read.
“Jack made an indelible mark on all who had the pleasure of knowing him, and he will not be forgotten. We grieve with the entire USA Judo and international judo community during this tough time. USA Judo is in the process of providing grief counseling services for those in need and will share information on services for Jack as they become available.”
A cause of death for Hatton was not immediately made public.
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“I’m deeply moved by the sudden death of USA Judo international Jack Hatton,” Marius Vizer, president of the International Judo Federation (IJF) added in a statement of his own. “On behalf of the IJF, I send my sincere condolences and wishes to USA Judo and Jack’s family and friends.”
Hatton was aiming to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after winning two Pan American Open events and reaching the second round of the World Championships in each of the past three years.
Pedro’s Judo Center also discussed Hatton’s passing while sharing a hotline for those struggling with depression or their mental health.
“It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the untimely passing of one of our students, teammates, brothers, and friends, Jack Hatton. Jack has been a member of Pedro’s Judo Center since 2015 and pursuing his dream of becoming a member of the 2020 Olympic Team. Along with being a top US Judo athlete, Jack was kind-hearted, caring and an all-around great person. 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.
“If you or a loved one is struggling with depression or their mental health, please seek help by calling 1-800-273-8255 or speak to someone.”
Hatton had most recently competed at the World Championships in Tokyo in August 2019.
Our deepest condolences go out to Hatton’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult and tragic time.