18-Yr-Old Tragically Dies Weeks Before Debuting For The Olympics

Jackson James Rice, an extraordinary young man, tragically passed away at 18. He was weeks away from debuting in the Olympics in Paris as the first Caucasian to compete for Tonga.

Jackson died on June 15 while free diving from a boat in Tonga. He experienced a shallow water blackout, a condition where a person loses consciousness after holding their breath for an extended period in shallow water. This often results from hyperventilating before a dive, which lowers CO2 levels and delays the urge to breathe.

When his body was found beneath the boat, resuscitation attempts failed. His sister shared the sad news on Facebook.

Born in the United States, Jackson moved to Tonga with his British parents, who managed a hotel in Ha’apai. He considered himself a Tongan.

Jackson qualified for the Olympics in kite foil racing, a competitive form of kite surfing involving hyper foils.

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