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PIZZO Paolo
NOC Italy   
GenderMen
Born 04 Apr 1983
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Marital status Married
Family Wife Lavinia Bonessio
Residence Guidonia, ITA
Occupation Athlete, Serves in the Air Force
Languages English, Italian
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? He began fencing at age seven.
Why this sport? His father introduced him to the sport. "I used to play volleyball and football. My father took me to the gym one day to show me fencing and I realised that it was the sport for me."
Club / Team CS Aeronautica Militare: Italy
Name of coach Andrea Giommoni [personal]
Handedness Right
General Interest
Hobbies Listening to music, scuba diving, volleyball, tennis. (Facebook profile, 04 May 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement Claiming gold in individual epee at the 2011 World Championships in Catania, Italy, and winning silver in team epee at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Instagram profile, 07 Jul 2017)
Most influential person in career His parents. (tiburno.tv, 18 Mar 2015)
Hero / Idol Swiss tennis player Roger Federer. (sportfair.it, 23 Jul 2017)
Injuries In late 2017 he sustained an injury in his right elbow, which required him to undergo surgery and kept him out of action for seven months. He returned to competition in June 2018 at the Mediterranean Games in Tarragona, Spain. (liberta.it, 22 May 2018; Facebook page, 21 Jun 2018; pianetascherma.com, 25 Mar 2018)

He underwent an operation on his hand in November 2012. (cattolicanews.it, 03 May 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto "Fight for what you believe in and never give up." (tiburno.tv, 18 Mar 2015)
Famous relatives His wife Lavinia Bonessio has represented Italy in modern pentathlon, and won bronze in relay at the 2014 World Championships in Warsaw, Poland. She announced her retirement from the sport in late 2016. (fipm.it, 17 Dec 2016; SportsDeskOnline, 08 Jul 2015; pianetascherma.com, 12 Oct 2014)
Other information EMOTIONAL GOLD
He dedicated his victory in individual epee at the 2017 World Championships in Leipzig, Germany, to his late Russian coach Oleg Pouzanov, who passed away at age 74 in 2015. "This gold is for him. He was here with me, the lights turned on by themselves. He was guiding me from above." (iltempo.it, 07 Dec 2015; sportfair.it, 23 Jul 2017)

ILLNESS
At age 13 he had a tumour removed from his brain. He has written a book about his experiences titled 'The Winning Thrust: How I Beat Cancer and Realised My Dream'. He also serves as an ambassador for the Italian Association of Cancer Research [AIRC]. "I have been a fortunate guy. I think that the mental aspect has been fundamental. I learnt that I needed to be strong, to never surrender. They seem common sentences, but they are true. I suffer when I remember those days. But I talk about it to do an auto analysis. Now I teach people to never surrender." (lanotiziah24.com, 06 May 2015; ccaniene.com, 07 Jun 2016; corriere.it, 26 Jan 2018)

Major Results
Year Rank Event Venue
Olympic Games
2016 2 Team Epee Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2012 Quarterfinal Individual Epee London, England
World Championships
2017 1 Individual Epee Leipzig, Germany
2017 Final 5-6 Team Epee Leipzig, Germany
2013 Quarterfinal Team Epee Budapest, Hungary
2011 1 Individual Epee Catania, Italy
2011 5 Team Epee Catania, Italy
European Championships
2017 2 Individual Epee Tbilisi, Georgia
2017 Final 7-8 Team Epee Tbilisi, Georgia
2014 2 Individual Epee Strasbourg, France
2013 5 Team Epee Zagreb, Croatia
2012 5 Individual Epee Legnano, Italy