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Is this Jessica Springsteen’s year to make the Olympic team?

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Jessica Springsteen climbed to second in U.S. Equestrian show jumping rankings this winter, her highest standing in years, at an opportune time. The Olympics are in four months.

Springsteen, the 28-year-old daughter of rocker Bruce Springsteen, hopes to make a finalist list of at least 10 rider-horse combinations for the Olympics. The last cut for the Games will be to three entries plus an alternate eligible for the team event in Tokyo.

In 2012, Springsteen was the 14th-ranked rider in the final standings when the four-rider Olympic team was announced. In 2016, she didn’t make the finalist list of 10 after her top horse was sidelined by leg tendon problems. two years after rising to No. 2 in the U.S. rankings.

“My dream is always to represent the United States in championships, so I am definitely always working toward that,” Springsteen said after winning a February competition, according to the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post. “I feel like I have a really good group of horses jumping great right now.”

However, the Olympic team will not necessarily be chosen straight from the aforementioned rankings. Instead, the finalists will be evaluated at competitions between May 1-June 21 and the Olympic team chosen via discretion using criteria including other recent performances.

“Jessie has as good of a chance as anybody right now,” NBC Olympics equestrian analyst Melanie Smith Taylor said. “With everybody, it’ll be up in the air depending on how the horses are going into the final trials. In this sport, the horses are such a huge component. Horses can get hurt. Horses can be unsound. You don’t really know until the last month or so before the Olympics who’s peaked and who’s really ready to go.”

The first four finalists were due to be named from a U.S. ranking list on Dec. 20. Springsteen was sixth on that list. The top four were Olympic veterans Beezie Madden, Kent Farrington, McLain Ward and Laura Kraut, all at least 10 years older than Springsteen in a sport where riders in their 50s can earn medals.

It might be difficult to break up such an experienced top group. Then again, Smith Taylor noted that the U.S. took two riders without Olympic experience to the 2018 World Equestrian Games — Devin Ryan and Adrienne Sternlicht — along with Kraut and Ward.

“Beezie’s in the No. 1 spot, probably followed by McLain,” Smith Taylor said. “Kent Farrington doesn’t really have an Olympic horse right now. He has horses that are winners, but he doesn’t have anything new that’s really knocking the socks off. Jessie, or even any of those younger riders, they have a chance.”

Springsteen was recently part of a victorious U.S. team at a Nations Cup stop in Florida, along with Madden, Kraut and Margie Engle, the U.S.’ fifth-ranked rider.

“Jessie was the leadoff rider. They put a lot of faith in her going first, and she really came through,” Smith Taylor said. “She has really moved up, and her level of riding has really been impressive this last year. She has really become a winner.”

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Why did Shaun White cut his hair? Carrot Top

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Shaun White said a revelatory chat with Carrot Top led to the Olympic snowboarding champion chopping off his flowing red locks more than seven years ago, according to a report.

“I went to an event in Vegas where I run into Carrot Top,” White wrote, according to a Bleacher Report AMA last Wednesday. “We were talking about our hair and he basically looked at me like you could see into his soul and he basically said he was stuck like this. And at that point it was like seeing the ghost of Christmas future. And at that point I was like omg I can change.”

White documented a meeting with Carrot Top on social media in September 2013, but that was 10 months after the haircut. They must have met in 2012, too.

White, formerly known as the Flying Tomato, posted video of the haircut in December 2012, saying he didn’t tell anybody beforehand. He had grown tired of the nickname.

He donated the hair to Locks of Love, which makes wigs for needy children.

White is known for charitable efforts for children, including with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the St. Jude Children’s Hospital. White was born with a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, requiring two major surgeries before his first birthday.

White, a 33-year-old who recently changed his hair color to blond, announced in February that he ended a bid to make the first U.S. Olympic skateboarding team for the Tokyo Games.

He is expected to compete for a spot in the 2022 Winter Olympics, where he could be the oldest U.S. Olympic halfpipe rider in history.

MORE: White, Shiffrin among dominant Winter Olympians of 2010s

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Susie O’Neill, Australian great, answers Katie Ledecky by balancing beer while swimming

Susie O'Neill
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Katie Ledecky‘s feat of balancing a glass of chocolate milk while swimming reverberated Down Under, where one of Australia’s Olympic legends attempted to mimic it with a cup of beer.

Susie O’Neill, an eight-time Olympic medalist from 1992-2000 known as Madame Butterfly, accepted a challenge put forth by her fellow radio show hosts. In video shared across Australian media, she took 13 strokes before the beer came off her head, just before reaching a wall.

“It’s actually not as hard as I expected,” O’Neill said in an Instagram Live. “Well, it was pretty hard.”

O’Neill, 47, said backstrokers sometimes train with a water bottle on their foreheads to stay straight. But O’Neill, a freestyler and butterflier, never balanced anything on her head while training.

MORE: O’Neill in tears watching Sydney Olympic defeat for first time

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