Springsteen makes Olympic debut and failed to qualify
KAMIYOGA – Jessica Springsteen hasn’t had a chance to go solo in Tokyo.
Maybe she will do better with a group.
The daughter of famous rocker Bruce Springsteen and his wife E Street Band, Patti Scialfa, failed to advance to the Olympic individual show jumping finals at Tokyo Equestrian Park on Tuesday night.
The 29-year-old’s Olympic debut got off to a good start on the 14-jump course before her horse felt uncomfortable around the 11th obstacle, and the pair were awarded four penalty points for knocking down a rail. This put her in the bubble of the 73-horsepower field for one of 30 places in the final. She was officially eliminated about an hour after riding.
She will ride again on Friday night as part of the registration of four American riders in the show jumping team event.
“Overall I’m happy with the round and excited for the rest of the week,” she said.
Springsteen learned to ride on her family’s horse farm in Colts Neck, New Jersey, and was a substitute for the London Games in 2012, but did not compete.
She has been riding Don Juan van de Donkehove, 12 – he responds very well to Don – for about two years. The duo arrived in Tokyo in 14th place in the world.
They circled around a jumping course with a distinctively Japanese feel – the obstacles were adorned with life-size sumo wrestlers, geisha kimonos, cherry blossoms and even a miniature recreation of a Japanese palace.
In a sport with no familiar name, Springsteen generated a rare Tokyo buzz. Almost all of the media coverage of equestrian sports in the United States during these Games focused on Springsteen. On the pitch here, around half a dozen members of the Bruce Springsteen Japan Facebook group gathered outside the locked stadium last week to offer their support.
The rider herself was tightly shielded from attention. US Equestrian has rejected requests for one-on-one interviews with her, and questions at a press conference Monday were screened by public relations staff to block any mention of her famous family.
Journalists in the mixed zone were warned Tuesday not to ask questions about his family. When a reporter began asking about Springsteen’s experiences on horseback as a child, a member of the U.S. equestrian staff grabbed her and took her away.
The boss’s daughter isn’t the first famous offspring to trot an Olympic track, which is not surprising given the sport’s significant financial barriers.
Princess Anne represented Great Britain in the eventing at the 1976 Montreal Games. Her daughter, Zara Tindall, jumped to London in 2012. Georgina Bloomberg, daughter of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, also jumped for the American team but never at the Olympics.
This year’s field included another billionaire parent – Egyptian Nayer Nassar is Bill Gates’ son-in-law.
“I support a lot of athletes at the Tokyo Olympics right now,” Gates wrote on Instagram. “But there is no athlete I support more than my son-in-law Nayel Nassar. Good luck Nayel.
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