Her dad may be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but Jessica Springsteen is now officially an Olympian! The 29-year-old was just added to the U.S. Olympic equestrian team, but she didn’t get there just because she has a famous father. Springsteen is a world-class equestrian.
The announcement from U.S. Equestrian about the four-person (and four-horse) jumping team going to Tokyo notes that Springsteen is currently ranked No. 27 in the world. The talented rider is the youngest member of the team — two-time gold medalist McLain Ward is 45, Kent Farrington is 40, and Laura Kraut is 55. All three have been to the Olympics before.
Obviously she’s also the only one whose parents — Bruce Springsteen and his wife, Patti Scialfa, a songwriter and guitarist in the E Street Band — can get a stadium full of people to belt out the lyrics to “Born to Run.” But Jessica Springsteen has been running toward her own Olympic dreams for a long time. She began riding as a child and first tried out for Team USA in college.
“I started riding when I was really little,” Springsteen told People. “My mom had always wanted to ride, so when we moved to New Jersey she started taking lessons. Our home is right across the road from one of the top junior training barns — and I went right into that when I was a teenager.”
She has been competing professionally for years, representing the U.S. numerous times in equestrian challenges at the FEI Nations Cup and as an alternate rider for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.
“She has said early on that she didn’t want to be known as Bruce Springsteen’s daughter alone. She wanted to forge her own path,” equestrian legend and 1984 Olympic gold medalist Melanie Smith Taylor told the New York Post earlier this year. “She’s really doing that. She is very much at the elite level of the sport because of her performance.”
Though this will be her first time competing in the Olympics, Springsteen already travels the globe for equestrian events. Photographer Ashley Neuhof, whose images Springsteen often shares on social media, captured this photo of her jumping an obstacle atop horse RMF Zecilie at an event in Madrid last year:
Springsteen shared the happy news that she’d earned a place on Team USA on her social media. She posted on Instagram, writing, “Been dreaming of this since I can remember! Endless gratitude for my team, friends and family for helping me make this a reality. We are Tokyo bound!!”
Famous pals like Kaley Cuoco and Elizabeth Turner chimed in to give their congrats to the excited athlete.
Jumping events at the Tokyo Olympics take place Aug. 2-7. Here’s hoping the Boss’s daughter takes home a gold for the U.S.A.!