Ecuadorian Olympic Surfing Hopeful Israel Barona Dies in El Salvador

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Ecuadorian surfer and 2024 Paris Olympics hopeful, 34-year-old Israel Barona, tragically passed away in El Salvador this Tuesday, confirmed by both the Ecuadorian Olympic Committee and the National Civil Police of El Salvador. While in El Zonte, La Libertad for a surfing competition, Barona experienced seizures at his hotel, as stated by the Salvadoran Police.

First responders rushed Barona to the hospital upon discovery, but he was pronounced dead on arrival. The police have since dismissed any suspicion of foul play in his death.

Barona, who started surfing at the age of 10 and entered the competitive scene at 15, had represented Ecuador in the World Surfing Games and Bolivarian Games. He was also a competitor in the World Surf League’s Men’s Qualifying Series.

The Montanita Surf Club, mourning the loss, paid homage to Barona on social media, recognizing his enduring legacy and expressing solidarity in grief. They extended heartfelt condolences, offering support and comforting the community with the remembrance of shared moments with Barona.