Chris Ciriello made his second Olympic appearance at Rio after he claimed bronze four years earlier at the London Games.
The Aussie Olympic campaign kicked off with a 2-1 win over trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand which saw Ciriello put one goal on the scoreboard before halftime. Despite starting strong, the side then suffered back-to-back 1-0 losses to Spain and Belgium. Determined to claim their third straight Olympic medal, the Aussies then secured a 2-1 win over Great Britain and a 9-0 victory over Brazil, setting themselves up for a quarter-final clash against the number 2 ranked side, the Netherlands. The Aussies quickly saw their hopes of a gold medal fade as the Dutch secured a 4-0 win, knocking the favourites out of the Olympic competition.
Known by his teammates as the ‘Big Dog’ or ‘Italian Stallion’, Ciriello picked up his first hockey stick at just four-years-old having been born into a hockey family, with his grandfather playing for India before moving to Australia.
With his powerful drag flick, Ciriello has been an ever-present force on the Australian team since his international debut in 2008 and has never finished lower than third place during his eight years on the team. The Melbournian has won gold medals at two Commonwealth Games, two Championships Trophies and one World Cup during his career.
Ciriello sealed Australia a gold medal over the home-town Dutch favourites at the 2015 World League semi-final, scoring the only goal of the final, seconds before the buzzer. Ciriello also recently helped the green and gold side to claim their 14th Champions Trophy.
Outside of hockey, Ciriello enjoys time with wife, Heidi and has a passion for personal training. He has developed his own business designing programs for clients outside of his hockey commitments and shares his passion with his siblings who are also all PTs.