‘My nod to the medals’: showjumper sports hundreds of golden feathers for Tokyo Olympics

  • So far at the Tokyo Olympics we’ve seen plenty of athletes sporting tattoos of the Olympic rings and some very patriotic painted nails, but taking Olympic fever to the next level is rider Dani G Waldman, who is representing Israel in the Olympic showjumping.

    The native New Yorker, who acquired Israeli citizenship in 2010 and is now based in the Netherlands, is famed for the “flying feathers” she has woven into her hair and which can be seen cascading beneath her riding helmet during competitions. Dani regularly changes her choice of colours, often co-ordinating to match various occasions such as at the European showjumping Championships in August 2019 when she patriotically sported a full head of blue and white feathers in the colours of Israel’s flag.

    Dani’s Olympic debut was certainly going to be no exception and to mark this important milestone, Dani revealed to her 58,000 followers on Instagram that she had had a cascade of rose gold hues woven in to her hair shortly before her departure for Tokyo. 

    “Cat’s outta the bag. Rose gold. My nod to the medals with my favourite metal” she posted.

    Dani is in Tokyo as the alternate rider for Israel’s showjumping team with the 12-year-old stallion Queensland E, who she started riding at the start of 2020.

    After the first warm-up for the showjumpers under the floodlights in the main arena on Sunday evening, Dani said that her mount “E” felt “relaxed and ready”.

    Dani has never been afraid to express her personality and designed a black lace show jacket, which she wore to compete in the Longines Global Champions Tour Final in New York, USA, in 2019.

    “The show world could always use a little personality in my mind!” she says

    “I wear my feathers because I feel great about them. I love them. It’s good to be different. Embrace individuality. Embrace that difference”” she says.

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