Nayel Nassar is engaged to Jennifer Gates, the oldest daughter of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Nassar, a professional equestrian who will represent Egypt during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, popped the question during a skiing trip.
Gates and Nassar shared their excitement on Instagram. Gates wrote that Nassar “absolutely swept me off my feet this past weekend, surprising me in the most meaningful location over one of our many shared passions. I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives learning, growing, laughing and loving together. Yes a million times over.” Nassar wrote that he felt like the “luckiest (and happiest) man in the world.”
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Nayel Nassar & Jennifer Gates Are Both Graduates of Stanford University & Bonded Over a Love of Horses
Nayel Nassar and Jennifer Gates say they bonded over a shared love of horses. Like Nassar, Gates has been riding since she was a child. After graduating from Stanford in 2018, Gates spent the next year traveling on the competitive equestrian circuit. She was part of the Longines Global Champions Tour and the Global Champions League.
Gates told CNN in July of 2019 that she enjoyed getting the chance to travel the world with her now-fiance and compete. “He’s a professional, and I do this as an amateur. So, to be able to share our love and passion for horses with each other is just incredible.”
Both Gates and Nassar are graduates of Stanford University, but they did not attend school together. Gates began her college career in 2014 and earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Nassar earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford in 2013.
2. Nassar Was Born In Chicago But Grew Up In Kuwait
Nayel Nassar was born in Chicago in January of 1991, according to Emirates Woman magazine. But Nassar spent the majority of his childhood in Kuwait and lists Kuwait City as his hometown on his Facebook page. He attended the American School of Kuwait for high school, according to a search of online records.
His family runs an architecture and design firm in Kuwait. Al Arabiya English reported that Nassar had a “wealthy upbringing” and that his parents bought him his first horse at age 10. The outlet added that Nassar’s parents played a significant role in helping him to hone his equestrian skills by allowing him to train in Europe.
Nassar relocated back to the United States in 2009 when he began college at Stanford. In late 2017, Nassar brought Jennifer Gates to Kuwait to visit with his family.
Nassar has been able to compete for the Egyptian equestrian team because his parents are both from Egypt, according to his Global Champions League bio. The page adds that Nassar is also fluent in French and Arabic.
3. Nassar Is a Champion Show Jumper & Will Compete For Egypt at The Tokyo Olympics
Nayel Nassar is a professional showjumper and played a major role in securing Egypt’s spot at the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo. It will be the first time in 60 years that Egypt has had an equestrian team at the Olympics. The Egyptian team official qualified for the Games after winning the CSIO4* Nations Cup competition in Rabat, Morocco in October of 2019.
Nassar explained to the World of Showjumping that making it to the Olympics had always been a “big goal” of his. He explained that the team spent about half the year in the United States and the other half in Europe training and competing.
As of this writing, Nassar was ranked #41 in the world by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports. According to the organization’s website, Nassar has won 36 jumping competitions since 2010. Nassar summarized his mentality when it comes to preparing for competitions: “There are no shortcuts. You have to work hard, know your horses, and establish a system in which you have confidence. Shortcuts don’t lead to consistency.”
4. Gates & Nassar Have Been Together Since Early 2017 & Are Based In New York City While She Attends Medical School
Nayel Nassar and Jennifer Gates have been together since early 2017. Nassar posted a photo on Valentine’s Day of that year, writing that he was a “lucky guy” to have convinced “this beauty to be my Valentine.” The photo was tagged in Miami Beach.
Gates first shared a photo with Nassar in April of 2017 when she celebrated her 21st birthday.
They have spent much of their relationship in California and traveling around the world for equestrian competitions. But the couple will call New York City their home base until at least 2023. Gates is studying to become a doctor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in Manhattan. Gates’ parents reportedly purchased a $5 million condo on Fifth Avenue near the campus for her.
5. Nassar Operates His Own Stable In Southern California
In addition to being a professional athlete, Nayel Nassar is also a business owner. He launched Nassar Stables LLC in 2014, according to public records with the California Secretary of State. The business is based in the city of Encinitas, which is located in San Diego County.
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