Imagen
27058-Gaia Rizzi photo

Gaia Rizzi

Athletics

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
T11, F11
Guide
Chiara Boniardi

Further personal information

Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
Italian
Higher education
International Relations, Language Studies - English, Language Studies - French - Catholic University of the Sacred Heart: Milan, ITA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up athletics at 15 after she had lost her vision.
Why this sport?
"Practising sports has always been important to me, it has always helped me in every sense: in friendships, as an outlet valve, for setting goals that pushed me to get involved and work with determination and perseverance “

General interest

Most influential person in career
Her family. "Without them everything would be more difficult." (ibellodellosport.it, 30 Apr 2019)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Outside of sport she wants to become a parliamentary interpreter. (ibellodellosport.it, 30 Apr 2019; corriere.it, 23 Jul 2016)
Impairment
She had partial vision before she sustained a retinal detachment at age 15, which resulted in her losing all of her sight. "My first three months of life everything seemed normal, but following an eye examination ordered by my parents who had noticed oddities in my eyes, it turned out that I was born with a malformation of the visual apparatus due to a virus in pregnancy." (corriere.it, 23 Jul 2016; ilbellodellosport.it, 30 Apr 2019)
Other information
LOSING VISION
She had been a swimmer, a dancer and a skier before she lost her vision. "At 13, in the winter of the third year of middle school, my visual situation gradually worsens. The first to notice that something was wrong was my teachers, who told my parents. I didn't notice it, but when I realised I was starting to lose the vision I was used to, I immediately tried to mask it all, pretending that nothing had changed. When I finally told my family it was my birthday: I turned 14 years old. My parents looked for an answer and after several consultations in Italy and abroad, I had eye operations in Lausanne and Paris. Unfortunately, nothing could be done: at the age of 15 the little vision which for me was my world, died, and I became blind." (ilbellodellosport.it, 30 Apr 2019)

DANCING
She is a trained dancer. She first practised dance from ages 10 to 14, but gave up when she started losing her vision. In 2019 she resumed training in dance. "This time salsa and bachata and, thanks to my teacher Andrea, I'm having fun and learning a lot." (ilbellodellosport.it, 30 Apr 2019)