RIANNA MIZZEN CALLS TIME ON ELITE GYMNASTICS CAREER
On October 16 2019, with a heavy heart, Rianna Mizzen announced her retirement from the elite Women’s Artistic Gymnastics program to the community.
Before a serious knee injury in 2018, Mizzen was in career best form coming off a 2016 All Around National Champion title and Gold on Uneven Bars at her first World Cup Challenge in Portugal.
Mizzen then followed with selection for the 2017 World Championships and, most recently, helped Team Australia to the Bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in front of her home crowd and that is a moment that stands out.
“To be able to achieve two of my major goals, honestly meant the world to me and it definitely showed that all the training had paid off,” Mizzen said.
“All the blood, sweat and tears were worth it in the end.
“Competing in front of my home crowd at the Commonwealth Games was a dream come true. It was the best feeling ever knowing that all my family and friends were able to make it to one of my major comps.”
For the last 14 years, gymnastics was all that Mizzen knew and it has provided her with not only amazing opportunities but helped her grow up to be the person she is today.
“The sport of Gymnastics has given me so many opportunities; to travel the world and become friends with so many amazing gymnasts worldwide.
“Being in the sport for 14 years honestly made me a better person; I’ve learnt I'm mentally strong with whatever life throws at me.”
With Mizzen’s retirement coming off the back of her knee injury, she gives an insight into what her rehab journey has been like for the past year.
“During the first 10 weeks of my knee rehab, I really struggled mentally and physically,” Mizzen remembers.
“There was a lot going through my head during those 10 weeks and it was definitely an emotional roller coaster.
“I came to the realisation of deciding to retire as I knew in the back of my head; I had achieved so much in my gym career and it's time for me to move on and start a new journey.
“I knew I wanted to compete up until 2020 but I had to think, let's be real, and knew I wouldn't be back 100% where I wanted to be to be able to represent Australia in Tokyo with my teammates.
“Also in the back of my mind, I wanted my knee to be 100% back to normal and not risk another year of rehab due to hurting it again if I was to go back too soon.”
Though, as the ever so positive person that she is, Mizzen has overcome every obstacle with a smile on her face and is now retiring from the sport on her terms.
“It wasn't easy at first, but as I said I'm a positive person and I have been able to do this all by myself.
“My mum and dad have supported me no matter what; they just wanted me to be happy and they truly have been the best supporters ever.”
Gymnastics Australia CEO Kitty Chiller sends her wishes to Mizzen as she hangs up her leotard for the final time.
“Rianna has been a valuable member of the Australian Women’s Artistic program for a number of years,” Chiller said.
“It was fantastic to see her represent Australia at her first World Championships and going on to help the team win Bronze last year at the Commonwealth Games was a great achievement.
“As an organisation, we would like to congratulate Rianna and we wish you all the very best for the future.”
With so much to look forward to post elite athlete career, Mizzen wants to explore what else life has to offer.
“Look it's definitely not easy knowing what you want to do with your life when retiring after being involved in the sport for 14 years,” Mizzen said.
“As of now I'm just coaching and ready to explore and find out what I would like to do in the future.”