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July 30, 2012

Frank Chapot Recovering From Surgery

Show jumper Frank Chapot, who won team silver at the 1960 Rome and 1972 Munich Olympic Games, is recovering from brain surgery to repair a subdural hematoma.

Chapot, 80, jumped for the United States in six Olympic Games between 1956 and 1976 and then served as the U.S. show jumping chef d’equipe for 24 years, from 1980 to 2004. Under his watch, U.S. show jumpers won team gold and individual gold and silver at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and team gold at the 1986 World Championships and the 2004 Sydney Olympic Games. His teams took silver at the 1988 and 1996 Olympic Games.

Chapot is also known for breeding and training the famous Gem Twist, who earned team and individual silver at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games with Greg Best riding. Chapot’s daughter, Laura, is a noted grand prix rider. She won the $75,000 Chartis Grand Prix on Umberto on July 29 at the HITS-On-The-Hudson V horse show (N.Y.), which Chapot's wife, Mary, said cheered him.

“They think [the subdural hematoma] was caused by a fall, but I can’t confirm that he fell,” said Mary. “We don’t really know what might have caused it. He was gradually getting more unsteady on his feet when we got home from Lake Placid, and a little bit drifty in his mind.”

Alarmed, Mary took Frank to the emergency room on July 24, where doctors diagnosed the subdural hematoma. “They were able to relieve the pressure. It took a day or so to stop the bleeding, but now he’s doing much better. He got out of the Intensive Care Unit yesterday, and is starting with rehabilitation,” Mary continued.

“The prognosis is good. We really appreciate everyone’s well wishes. He’s got a lot of friends and it’s been wonderful to hear from them.”

Cards and flowers can be sent to:

Frank Chapot
c/o Morristown Medical Center
100 Madison Ave.
Morristown, NJ 07960