Who is Nayel Nassar?
Nayel Nassar is an Egyptian-American equestrian, show jumper, and economist. He has garnered recent media attention for his engagement to his long-time girlfriend, Jennifer Gates, the eldest daughter of Bill and Melinda Gates. Originally from Illinois, Nassar moved to Kuwait with his family when he was quite young and was brought up there. In 2009, he came back to the United States of America and enrolled at Stanford University to pursue degrees in management and economics, graduating in 2013. He has been riding horses since he was five years old. Both his parents are originally from Egypt, and because of that, he has decided to represent that country in international equestrian competitions. According to CNN, Nassar has been included in the Egyptian equestrian roster for the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. He also competes for the elite riding club, the Paris Panthers.
Early Life & Education
Born on January 21, 1991, in Chicago, Illinois, USA, Nayel Nassar hails from an affluent Egyptian family. His parents operate an architecture and interior design firm. Not long after his birth, his family relocated to Kuwait, where Nassar spent almost all his childhood and teenage. In 2009, when he was 18 years old, he came back to US to attend Stanford University for degrees in economics and management. He obtained them in 2013.
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Nayel Nassar started riding horses when he was five years old. At the age of ten, he started jumping. In his last semester at Stanford, he decided not to go after a traditional job and became a professional show jumper instead. Since then, he has taken part in the FEI World Cup Finals in 2013, 2014, and 2017, as well as the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2014. He has also participated in competitions like Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Las Vegas, Las Vegas National Horse Show Winning Round CSI 3, Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Del Mar, and New York Masters CSI5 Grand Prix, finishing first in the first three.
According to the International Federation for Equestrian Sports, Nassar is the 41st best equestrian in the world. Since 2010, he has registered 36 jumping competition wins. As a show jumper, he played a crucial role in Egypt’s successful campaign to qualify for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, claiming the top spot at the CSIO4-W Nations Cup of Rabat in October 2019. According to CNN, this achievement ensured that for the first time in 60 years, Egypt will have a delegation to the Olympics in the sport.
Relationship with Jennifer Gates
In January 2017, Nayel Nassar began dating Jennifer Gates. He made the news of their relationship public in the following month by posting a photo with Jennifer on his Instagram page that showed them celebrating Valentine’s Day together in Miami Beach, Florida. The couple reportedly grew close through their shared love for horses. Jennifer is also a competitive equestrian and presently serves as the president of the Paris Panthers. Like Nassar, she also attended Stanford, graduating with a degree in human biology in 2018.
The couple drew media attention after Jennifer announced their engagement through her Instagram page on January 30, 2020. “Nayel Nassar, you are one of a kind," she wrote in the accompanying caption of the picture in which the couple can be seen sitting in the snow together. "Absolutely swept me off my feet this past weekend, surprising me in the most meaningful location over one of our many shared passions."
“Yes a million times over”, she concluded the caption, adding a diamond ring emoji at the end. Since then, the post has gone viral. It has been liked tens of thousands of times, and mainstream news outlets like People, NDTV, and CNN have reported on it.
Nayel Nassar is multilingual and is fluent in English, Arabic, and French.