Further Personal Information
||Canberra, ACT, AUS
||Teaching - University of Canberra: Australia
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||He started gymnastics in 1987.
|Why this sport?
||He started gymnastics because his brother and father were involved in the sport. His father owns the Australian Academy of Gymnastics.
|Club / Team
||AIS: Canberra, ACT, AUS
|Name of coach
|Coach from which country?
||He trains 35-40 hours per week.
||Choco. (FIG, 22 Jan 2004)
||Playing the guitar with the band Dogsnot, spending time at the beach and watching rugby league. (ACGA, 07 May 2002, Sydney Morning Herald, 22 Jul 2004)
|Memorable sporting achievement
||Becoming a world champion in high bar at the 2006 World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. (ausport.gov.au, 27 Jul 2010)
Winning silver at the 2001 World Championships. (Gymnastics Australia, 13 Feb 2004)
|Hero / Idol
||His father Andre Rizzo. (Goodwill Games News Service, 2001)
||A hip injury in 2009 disrupted his preparations for that year's World Championships in London, England. He was forced to withdraw from the parallel bars event because his fitness was not up to standard following the injury. (Australian Associated Press, 12 Oct 2009)
Ruptured his Achilles tendon during floor exercise training in June 2007. The injury required surgery to reattach the tendon and ruled him out of competing at the 2007 World Championships. "I didn't feel a pop or a snap, just a massive pain at the bottom of my calf," he said. (Melbourne Sun, 12 Jun 2007)
Underwent elbow surgery in March 2007. (Melbourne, 12 Jun 2007)
Suffered a potentially career ending elbow injury in 2006, but recovered following surgery in April of that year. (Sydney Morning Herald, 23 Oct 2006)
He underwent shoulder surgery in 1999. (A to Z of Australian Gymnastics, 22 Jan 2004)
|Awards and honours
||Named the Australian Institute of Sport Athlete of the Year in 2006. "I wasn't really nominated in the Australian sports awards and [walker] Nathan Deakes won that one, so I was just thinking maybe I didn't do good enough," he said. (ABC, 28 Feb 2007)
Became the first Australian gymnast to win a world championship title when he won gold on the high bar at the 2006 World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. He surpassed his previous best of a silver medal on the same apparatus at the 2001 World Championships in Ghent, Belgium. "It's good that I made history. It's certainly been a long time coming," he said. (Sydney Morning Herald, 23 Oct 2006)
Named joint winner of the 2001 Australian Institute of Sport Athlete of the Year award alongside swimmer Petria Thomas. (Australian Institute of Sport, 03 Jul 2002)
He became the first Australian to win a medal at a World Championships when he took silver in the high bar final in 2001. He only learned on the morning of the final that he would be competing after South Korean Kim Don-Hwa suffered neck and shoulder injuries during the all around competition and was forced to withdraw. (AAP, 06 Nov 2001)
||His father Andre Rizzo was an Olympic gymnast for France and his brother Blaise was an Australia gymnastics champion in 1986 and 1988. (Gymnastics Australia, 13 Feb 2004)
His older brother Antoine runs the Australian Academy of Gymnastics in Sydney. (The Australian, 23 Oct 2006)
||To win an Olympic gold medal and to keep enjoying life. (Goodwill Games News Service, 2001, ausport.gov.au, 22 Jan 2004)
Both of his parents are French, but they moved to Australia in 1970. (FIG, 22 Jan 2004)