Barona, a surfing hopeful for the 2024 Paris Olympics, died in El Salvador on Tuesday while he was visiting for a competition
Surfer and Olympic hopeful Israel Barona has died at age 34, the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee and El Salvador's National Civil Police confirmed.
Barona, who was working towards the 2024 Paris Olympics, died in El Salvador on Tuesday while he was visiting for a competition, the Committee announced.
El Salvador National Civil Police (PNC) said Barona "suffered seizures while he was in a hotel in El Zonte, La Libertad" in a statement.
The surfer was taken to a hospital when he was found, according to the PNC, "however, he was already deceased."
The PNC said they have "ruled out" homicide.
Barona began surfing when he was 10 years old and represented Ecuador in the World Surfing Games and Bolivarian Games.
Dominic, 32, posted a tribute to her brother in an Instagram story on Wednesday. "I love you cute Nanito. My love, my everything, you are my light forever," she wrote over a photo of the two smiling on a beach.
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The Ecuadorian Olympic Committee also issued a statement mourning the loss of Barona.
"The Olympic Movement extends its heartfelt condolences to the Barona Matute family, following the death of the great athlete of Team Ecuador Surf, Israel Barona Matute. Rest in peace, champion," in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter).
The Montanita Surf Club shared a tribute to the surfer on social media. “We deeply regret the loss of Israel. His memories and his legacy will live on in our hearts."
"In this time of deep sorrow, we would like to express our deepest condolences and support. May you find strength and comfort in the love and memories shared with Israel. We're here for whatever you need."
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