Jessica Springsteen and the USA equestrian team just took home a silver medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after losing a jump-off to Sweden. After the final round, the US and Swedish teams tied for gold, so the two faced off in a separate competition to determine a winner. All riders made it through the course without penalty, but the Swedish team pulled it off at a mere 1.3 seconds faster than the Americans.
In the 2020 Tokyo Olympic finals, Jessica Springsteen, and her horse Don Juan van de Donkhoeve, clipped the fourth jump, resulting in four penalties. Springsteen is the daughter of legendary musical artist Bruce Springsteen.
“I kind of took it for granted a little bit,” Springsteen said in a statement after the event. “I wasn’t really expecting that to be one of my challenges. So I’m disappointed in that regard, but I thought my horse jumped the rest of the course absolutely beautifully.”
McLain Ward of the United States also then received four penalty points, but so did Sweden’s Peder Fredricson, setting the two teams to tie for silver. France almost took gold in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but met misfortune when Penelope LePrevost’s horse, Vancouver de Lanlore, knocked off the bars on the third jump and refused to go over after the reset.
This sent the US and Sweden into the tiebreaker. Interestingly, in 2018, the US team and the Swedish team faced off in a jump-off at the World Equestrian Games. However, the US won that round.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Was Springsteen’s Olympic Debut
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was Jessica Springsteen’s first Olympic Games. She utilized the downtime many had during the pandemic to strengthen her bond with her horse and came out of it a force to be reckoned with. Springsteen spoke to People about what it meant to her to make such an important milestone in her equestrian career.
It’s the biggest honor,” Springsteen said “Throughout my career, representing my country has been my goal. And so to be doing so at the Olympics, it’s a huge honor. I couldn’t be more excited.”
For horsemen, having a bond with your horse is often considered essential. This was true for Springsteen going into the games.
“The partnership you have with your horse is everything. And with Don I have a really, really strong partnership,” Springsteen explained. “Sometimes you get a horse and it can take you a long time get to know each other, but with him, we came together quickly and we’ve been able to build on that ever since. We definitely have a lot of trust.”
It’s certainly been an interesting Olympics for Springsteen and other athletes. Now, the games are officially drawing to a close, with closing ceremonies happening tomorrow. You can catch the closing ceremony tomorrow, August 8th, from 8 pm to 10:30 pm EST on NBC.