Last updated on September 9th, 2021 at 12:40 amPHOTOS BY George Kamper
Nayel Nassar is living his best life. After a 61 year hiatus, Nassar helped Egypt’s equestrian team make history by qualifying for this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games. Egypt secured their spot through the 2019 FEI Nations Cup in Morocco by winning the event. Nassar was joined by teammates Abdel Qader Saeed, Sameh al-Dahan and Mohamed Taher Ziada. Nayel expertly piloted Lucifer V to clinch the spot for the team. (Learn more about Nayel and Lucifer V in EQ Living’s feature print story from 2020.)
“We are a passionate, professional group of young guys who have all had success in the sport. It’s an exciting time for Egyptian showjumping,” Nassar said. The team entered the Games in Tokyo with much to prove.
Nevertheless, Nassar was up for the challenge; he expertly rose to the occasion in the first round of competition. Nassar navigated Igor van de Wittemoere to a near-faultless performance. The pair finished in the top 30 horse and rider combinations, with a time of 88.42 seconds. Team Egypt later entered strong trips in the Team Jumping Qualifier. Ultimately, they were left out of the final round, finishing in 11th place. Still, the team celebrated their major feat of competing at the Games with pride.
All in the Family
Recently, Nassar also made headlines in his personal life. In early 2020, he became engaged to fellow equestrian Jennifer Gates, daughter of American billionaire Bill Gates. The tech giant cheered for his future son-in-law’s Olympic debut via Instagram. “I’m rooting for lots of athletes in Tokyo right now-but none more than my soon-to-be-son-in-law, Nayel Nassar. Good luck, Nayel!” Nayel and Jennifer have yet to release an official wedding date.
Hidden Talent: Tech Entrepreneur
Like his future father-in-law, Nassar has also ventured into the world of tech. Nayel recently launched JUMPR, a new iOS app designed to deliver comprehensive showjumping statistics in a new way. “Our goal is that JUMPR will revolutionize the way equestrians search, explore, discover and follow horses and riders,” states Nassar and co-founder Minhee Lee. JUMPR can be downloaded in the App Store by searching “Jumpr equestrian.”
Nassar’s life is flourishing in more ways than one. It will be exciting to see where this talented rider takes his career next.