Азиз Сергеевич Шавершян
|Born||Aziz Sergeyevich Shavershian
24 March 1989
|Died||5 August 2011
Cause of death
|Other names||Zyzz, Az|
|Alma mater||Marist College Eastwood|
|Occupation||Bodybuilder, personal trainer, Internet celebrity, stripper, model|
|Home town||Eastwood, New South Wales, Australia|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 1 1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||100 kg (220 lb)|
|Web hosting service(s)||YouTube|
|Signature phrase||"U mirin'?"|
Aziz Sergeyevich Shavershian (Russian: Азиз Серге́евич Шавершян; 24 March 1989 – 5 August 2011), better known by his Internet handle Zyzz, was a Moscow-born Australian bodybuilder, internet celebrity, personal trainer, model, and a part-time stripper who established a cult following after posting multiple videos of himself on YouTube, starting in 2007. In late July 2011 he came to more general media attention when The Sydney Morning Herald published an article about the arrest of his older brother, Said Shavershian, for illegal possession of anabolic steroids. On 5 August 2011, whilst on holiday in Thailand, Aziz Shavershian suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 22.
Shavershian was an ethnic Kurd and was born in Moscow, Russia, the youngest son of Maiane Iboian, who works in cardiology, and Sergei Shavershian. He has one older brother, Said Shavershian, who is also known by his screenname "Chestbrah".
In the early 1990s, Shavershian and his family moved to Australia. He was raised in Eastwood, New South Wales, and attended Marist College Eastwood Catholic secondary school, where he achieved Dux of the college. Prior to his death in August 2011, he was to graduate from the University of Western Sydney, with a degree in business and commerce.
Before becoming a bodybuilder, Shavershian had been described as a "skinny kid" and an ectomorph. Once he completed secondary school, Shavershian who was inspired by his bodybuilder brother, joined a local gym and began learning about nutrition and training, and applying it to his pursuit of becoming a bodybuilder. He would spend three to four hours a day training in the gym. His favourite professional bodybuilders included actor/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane.
In an interview with bodybuilding website, Simplyshredded.com, Shavershian recalls that he originally wanted to become a bodybuilder to "impress girls". He says he would look at pictures of "shredded" bodybuilders and tell himself that he would one day be like them. Almost four years into training, Shavershian stated that:
I can safely say that my motivation to train goes far beyond that of merely impressing people, it is derived from the feeling of having set goals and achieving them and outdoing myself in the gym. I absolutely love it, the feeling of pushing out that last rep, and getting skin tearing pumps is something I don’t see myself without.
Prior to his death, Shavershian was the poster boy of a subculture of amateur bodybuilding in Australia, dubbed "aesthetics", which he had made popular. He had established his own protein label, "Protein of the Gods", released in June 2011; a clothing line and on 17 May 2011, Zyzz's Bodybuilding Bible was released, based on a compilation of bodybuilding knowledge he acquired over the four years of training. He asserted that the internet helped build up his brand, and it was ultimately made possible through the use of social media.
Alleged steroid abuse
On 14 July 2011, Shavershian's brother Said was arrested for possession of anabolic steroids, to which after Aziz's death he pleaded guilty. The Sydney Morning Herald covered the case, and included a photo of Aziz. Aziz objected to the use of his picture to illustrate what was essentially an article on the misuse of anabolic steroids.
When asked by The Daily Telegraph, Aziz denied ever using steroids, and claimed that his body shape was due to hard work in the gym and a strict diet. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the company which employed Aziz as a stripper maintained that he was a lovely guy, "aside from the steroids". Shavershian often used phrases such as "riding bicycles" that according to The Daily Telegraph is "gym slang for using a cycle of steroids".
Death and aftermath
On 5 August 2011, Aziz Shavershian suffered a heart attack in a sauna, while on holiday in Pattaya, Thailand. He was taken to a hospital, where doctors were unable to revive him. His family and friends placed news of his death on Facebook. His death was confirmed on Tuesday, 9 August, by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
An autopsy revealed a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect. His family stated he had shown several minor symptoms in the few months leading up to August, including high blood pressure and occasional shortness of breath. He had a family history of heart problems.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Shavershian's death was the sixth most searched death-related topic in Australia, during 2011. Prior to his death, Shavershian had posted a video of himself on a social-networking site, which would later come out 18th on Nine News' "Top News Videos of the Year" for 2011. Over the May 2011 to May 2012 period, Google Insight statistics showed that he was Googled as many times as then prime minister of Australia, Julia Gillard.
Said Shavershian created a 19-minute tribute video for his brother Aziz, entitled, "Zyzz - The legacy" and released it on YouTube on 22 March 2012. The video had been "trending the charts" on YouTube from late March to early April 2012.
Shavershian's Facebook fan page had a following of 60,000 fans prior to his death. In April 2012, The Daily Telegraph took note that his fan page had over 300,000 fans, before becoming inactive a few months later.
According to an opinion piece presented in the Wentworth Courier, whilst hundreds of Wentworth Courier news articles published online have "disappeared into the void" since 2011, the "Zyzz story" still manages "to be read and frequently appears in the daily list of most clicked-on articles on the Wentworth Courier website."
- Andrew Denny (11 August 2011). "Body Image" (Official YouTube video). Ten News (Network TEN (Australia)). Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- Kennedy, Les (10 August 2011). "Sydney bodybuilder dies in Thailand sauna". Ninemsn. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- de Brito, Sam (11 August 2011). "Zyzz ripped from this life too young". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
- "Heart condition 'behind bodybuilder's death'". Ninemsn. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
- Danks, Katherine (10 August 2011). "Facebook favourite and aspiring model, Aziz 'Zyzz' Shavershian, 22, dies in Thailand sauna". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
- Shavershian, Aziz. "How tall are you in cm?". Formspring.me. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- "Aesthetic bodybuilder Aziz 'Zyzz' Sergeyevich Shavershian's last posts". The Daily Telegraph. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
- Shavershian, Aziz. "What religion are you?". Formspring.me. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- Whyte, Sarah (31 July 2011). "All pumped up, but tell us how?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
- Morrah, Michael (26 November 2014). "Young Kiwis experiment with potent steroids". 3 News. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- Georgina Robinson and Sarah Whyte (11 August 2011). "Shattered: body of bodybuilder 'Zyzz' heading home". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- Sas, Nick (12 November 2011). "Concerns of drug abuse at the gym". The West Australian. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- Phillips, Liam (16 December 2011). "Death and disaster unleashed a flood of news in 2011". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Berry, Sarah (12 January 2012). "Incredible bulk: a journey from fit to fanatical". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Heart attack killed 'Zyzz'". The Age. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- Budd, Henry (15 August 2011). "Customs reveals steroid abuse is skyrocketing". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- Shavershian, Aziz. "How old were you when your family moved to australia?". Formspring.me. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- Vollmer, Tim (11 August 2011). "Bodybuilder Aziz 'Zyzz' Shavershian killed by heart defect". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- "Aesthetically Pleasing: Zyzz Shreddedshian Talks With Simplyshredded.com". Simplyshredded. 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- Marcus, Caroline (3 December 2012). "Boys hit by body blues". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
- Olding, Rachel (28 July 2012). "Sydney's newest sport - beat someone senseless or kill them for the heck of it". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
- "Fans flock to Aziz Sergeyevich Shavershian's social network sites a year after his death". The Daily Telegraph. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "Boys and the buff culture". 2 October 2011. ABC. ABC NewsRadio. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/boys-and-the-buff-culture/3725780. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- Whyte, Sarah (27 May 2012). "Zyzz, the late bodybuilder who gets Googled as much as Gillard". The Age. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Whyte, Sarah (7 August 2011). "Chestbrah fined". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- Baker, Jordan (2 September 2011). "Generation V buff, but not so pretty after dark". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
- "Playing fast and loose with the juice". Bangkok Post. 26 January 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
- Olding, Rachel (7 December 2011). "Searches show our true cares". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- Grubb, Ben (7 December 2011). "Aussies more interested in iPhone than world's disasters: Google". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- Ian Walker and Claire Harvey (2 January 2012). "Sydney throws a party as New Year 2012 arrives". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- Dunning, Craig (29 March 2012). "What's hot online Thursday, 29 March 2012". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
- Dunning, Craig (3 April 2012). "What's hot online Tuesday, 03 April 2012". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
- Mills, David (28 January 2013). "Shirtless dudes tip of the iceberg at Bondi". Wentworth Courier. Retrieved 28 January 2013.