Newly crowned Co-Player of the week Simon Rizell was elated to have been so honored this week. Rizell, a junior business major, had the news revealed to him via his fencing teammates on Facebook. Simon admits that he is extremely proud to be apart of such a close knit team as he considers them his family away from home.
Speaking of home, Rizell is originally from Gothenburg, Sweden. Simon began fencing in Sweden at the tender age of 5 and he credits his start in the sport to a father of his best friend. According to Simon, his friend’s father started placing his son in fencing and naturally Simon happily participated in the same events his best friend. Rizell stated “ It was just a game when I was young but, as I started getting better and better, I started taking it more seriously”.
Simon is appreciative of the support he has received and will continue to receive, from his parents and fencing coach. Regarding his prior relationship with the US, Rizell mentioned that he frequently visited America to spend some time with his uncle in Connecticut and stated that he enjoyed living in the country during those stays. Therefore, when it came down to selecting a place of study, he chose to attend a college in America.
Simon revealed that NJIT was the first school to respond to him and give him an opportunity to study at the institution. Feeling ever blessed and grateful he took this first response as a fortuitous opportunity to succeed and decided to attend NJIT. Rizell’s original fencing coach in Sweden, whom he considers one of his best friends and keeps in close contact with, supported his decision to study overseas near the great city of New York. Simon described his life here at NJIT as a process but not due to what many may believe, “Since we study English in Sweden, language wasn’t a problem…The hard part about being here is learning how to become independent”.
Rizell has learned a lot about himself over the course of his career at NJIT and he is happy to have grown as a person. He has been able to learn more about his strengths and weaknesses and how to strengthen and capitalize on them. On capitalization, Rizell loves to stay busy and as a student athlete he always is. He describes his academic experience as being super rough because student-athletes are tasked with being responsible for so much. In his case, Rizell currently has 21 credits this semester and is going through a program where he is getting his MBA and degree at the same time. Meaning Rizell is all business with little time to relax. But, the support he has received from his friends, family, and teammates counteract the stress he gets and makes the work easier to handle. Simon also credits traveling as a nice stress reliever as he enjoys his trips to Ohio, North Carolina, and Philly for fencing competitions.
He is looking forward to helping the team improve over last year as he has complete and utter confidence in the team, even stating “Our team is the best team out there”. Upcoming fencing competitions include the upcoming Columbia Invitational Nov 18th and The Sacred Heart Invitational Dec 4th. Come out and support the Men’s Fencing Highlanders!