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Rodrigo PESSOA

Rodrigo PESSOA is a Brazilian athlete and competes in Jumping.

Name Rodrigo PESSOA
FEI ID 10000435
Gender Male
Date of Birth 29/11/1972
Competing for Brazil - BRA
Registration Jumping 2024
Last update 20/03/2023
FEI Database




Jumping 70x70
General Interest
Nicknames RP (Athlete, 29 Jul 2021)
Hobbies Golf, spending time with family. (Athlete, 29 Jul 2021)
Memorable sporting achievement Winning gold in the individual event at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. (Athlete, 29 Jul 2021)
Most influential person in career His father Nelson. (rodrigopessoa.com, 02 Nov 2014) Ludger Beerbaum
Hero / Idol Brazilian Formula One driver Ayrton Senna, German jumper Ludger Beerbaum. (Athlete, 29 Jul 2021; phelpssports.com, 29 Feb 2016; rodrigopessoa.com, 02 Nov 2014)
Injuries He was sidelined for six weeks in 2020 with a shoulder injury. (amethyst-equestrian.com, 15 Sep 2020)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs He has a lucky neck chain. (rio2016.org, 15 Aug 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto "You really need to have goals in life that are obtainable, but at the same time big dreams. You also need to be ready to put in the work so you can reach those dreams." (worldofshowjumping.com, 10 Jul 2018)
Awards and honours In 2020 he received the Sports Merit Cross from the Brazilian government. (in.gov.br, 19 Feb 2020) He was flag bearer for Brazil at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (rio2016.com, 28 Oct 2015) He was named Brazil's Rider of the Year in 1998. (Athlete, 05 Jul 2000)
Famous relatives His father Nelson represented Brazil in equestrian jumping at five Olympic Games. He also won gold in the team event at the Pan American Games in 1967 and 1995. His wife Alexa Weeks has competed in the sport at an elite level. (Instagram profile, 19 Sep 2019; hamptonclassic.com, 21 Jun 2015; SportsDeskOnline, 04 Dec 2020; rodrigopessoa.com, 02 Nov 2014)
Ambitions To win another gold medal at the Olympic Games. (Athlete, 29 Jul 2021)
Other information STABLES He and his wife Alexa established Amethyst Equestrian in Connecticut in the United States of America. In 2020 they relocated to North Salem, NY, United States of America. (amethyst-equestrian.com, 29 May 2020, 12 Oct 2020) NATIONAL COACH In 2016 he began serving as team manager of the Irish national equestrian jumping team. He signed an initial two-year contract, which he extended in December 2018. In September 2019 he announced that he would step down from his role as coach but continue to work as a consultant for the Irish team from November 2019, and instead focus on representing Brazil as a rider at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. "I have a feeling of fulfilment in having accomplished my initial mission with them. Qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games was our target and we reached it together as a wide but united squad. I genuinely wish them all the luck in the world and I will remain a steadfast supporter of Team Ireland." (horsenetwork.com, 15 Nov 2019; amethyst-equestrian.com, 15 Nov 2019; equisport.pt, 16 Sep 2019; irishexaminer.com, 19 Dec 2018; olharolimpico.blogosfera.uol.com.br, 28 Sep 2017; porforadaspistas.com.br, 09 Jul 2017) FEI ATHLETE REPRESENTATIVE Pessoa was elected as the FEI Athlete Representative for Jumping for the term 2022-2026. He therefore sits on both the Jumping Technical Committee and the Athletes Committee. (FEI, Feb 2023)
Milestones He won the World Cup Final in 1998, 1999, and 2000 on Baloubet du Rouet, making him the first rider to have claimed victory at the event in three consecutive years with the same horse. (allsands.com, 27 Aug 2010)
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? He first tried riding at age four. He began taking the sport seriously at age 12 in Belgium.
Why this sport? His father encouraged him to take up the sport. "The pressure and expectation have been there from the start, so I know how to deal with it. It's been a part of my life forever. For me, it became normal. I prepare for shows by being as normal as possible. Since I was a kid I had a clear goal in my head. It was to do this job and to be the best and win as much as possible. Seeing my father compete I wanted to do the same, and one day become an Olympic champion."
Club / Team Amethyst Equestrian: United States
Further Personal Information
Family Wife Alexa Weeks, daughters Cecilia, Sophia and Luciana
Residence North Salem, NY, USA
Occupation Athlete, Business Owner, Coach, Horse Trainer
Languages English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish