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Jessica Springsteen of Team USA riding Don Juan van de Donkoeve competes in the equestrian’s jumping team jump off between Sweden and the US during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Equestrian Park in Tokyo on August 7, 2021. (Photo : BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images)
Jessica Springsteen made her father, rock legend Bruce Springsteen, proud on Saturday as she helped guide the United States to a silver medal finish in the equestrian team jumping event at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Americans came up just short of the gold medal, losing a tightly fought jump-off against Sweden. It was still a fantastic achievement for the United States who has now won a record ten medals in this event.
Bruce Springsteen’s daughter nabs first Olympic medal of her career
It was the first medal for Springsteen, the daughter of rock icons Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa. The 29-year-old bounced back strongly after a poor showing in the individual jumping event, clipping just one rail in the primary round on Saturday to help keep Team USA in the medal positions with eight in penalties.
France had the opportunity to grab the gold medal outright but was disqualified when Penelope LePrevost’s horse knocked off the bars on the third jump and refused to hurdle it after the reset.
That set the stage for a thrilling jump-off between Sweden and the United States for the gold medal. Springsteen, who was riding the powerful stallion Don Juan van de Donkhoeve, Laura Kraut, and McLain Ward each produced flawless runs through the shortened jump-off course, combining for a time of 124.2 seconds.
However, Peder Fredricson broke American hearts as the final Swedish rider circled the track without error, cruising to a time of 39.01 seconds, more than a second clear of the 40.30 seconds needed by Sweden to beat the United States in the jump-off.
Fredricson, alongside riders Henrik von Eckermann and Malin Baryard-Johnsson, gave Sweden its record fourth gold medal in this event and its first team jumping title since the 1924 Olympics.
Ward and Kraut add more medals to their collection
The Americans were more than happy with the silver medal, knowing they gave powerhouse Sweden a great fight in the final. The Swedes have been in fine form here in Tokyo, sending three riders into the jump-off for the individual competition, with Fredricson bagging the silver there.
With the silver medal finish, Ward now has four Olympic medals in her glittering collection. Kraut now has two medals, adding to the silver that she and Ward won five years ago in the same event in Rio.
Kraut played a major role in Team USA’s triumph here as she also helped train Springsteen for years before the Tokyo Games. Springsteen relied on Kraut and her partner Nick Skelton’s experience to guide her through the competition, with the Tokyo Olympics being her first international competition.
Springsteen, the 14th-ranked showjumper in the world, began riding horses after watching her mother take lessons. She is no longer just known as Bruce Springsteen’s daughter but as an Olympic medalist for Team USA.
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