Sam Rizzo is a man on a mission, with his sights well and truly set not only on achieving selection to the 2020 Australian Paralympic Team, but also on winning a Paralympic gold medal and setting a new world record.

Just last year, Sam made his international debut at the 2018 Commonwealth Games – in front of a thumping home crowd, no less. It had been a long time coming for the Ballarat local, who was introduced to wheelchair racing in 2008 and hit the track for the first time in 2014.

Although Sam did not taste medal success – he placed sixth in the men’s 1500m T54 final – the opportunity to race alongside Paralympic powerhouses Kurt Fearnley and Jake Lappin was one that he relished, and is an experience he hopes to carry with him to the start line at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Before the Commonwealth …

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Date of birth
3 August 2000
Past Paralympic Games


Physical Impairment – Spina bifida
How acquired
Buninyong, VIC
Fabrication apprentice
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Representing Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, QLD

Greatest sporting moments

Watching Richard Colman win gold at the Paralympic Games

Heroes/role models

Richard Colman, Jake Lappin, Kurt Fearnley, Marcel Hug, Heinz Frei


  • Sport: Para-athletics Discipline: 100m Classification: T54
  • Sport: Para-athletics Discipline: 400m Classification: T54
  • Sport: Para-athletics Discipline: 800m Classification: T54
  • Sport: Para-athletics Discipline: 1500m Classification: T54

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