Aziz Sergeyevich Shavershian (Russian: Азиз Сергеевич 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 Bangkok, Thailand, Aziz Shavershian suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 22.
Shavershian 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 training. He began learning about nutrition and training and applying it to his pursuit of becoming a bodybuilder.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 had 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 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 Bangkok, 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, the social-networking site. 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 past 12 months (May 2011 - May 2012) Google Insight statistics showed that he was Googled as many times as the current-Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, and three times more than that of Opposition leader Tony Abbott.
At the 2012 New Year's Day Field Day festival in Sydney, people dressed up as clones of Shavershian, as a homage.
Said Shavershian created a 19-minute tribute video for his brother Aziz, entitled, "Zyzz - The legacy"which has been "trending the charts" on YouTube since as early as 29 March, 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, which now has over 300,000 fans, still continues to attract a large following, nearly a year after his death.