Ariel Ze'evi

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Ariel Ze'evi
ArikZeevi DSC2991 799 1200a.jpg
Ariel Ze'evi in 2012
Medal record
Representing  Israel
Men's Judo
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 2004 Athens 100 kg
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 2001 Munich Open kg
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 2001 Paris 100 kg
Gold medal – first place 2003 Düsseldorf 100 kg
Gold medal – first place 2004 Bucharest 100 kg
Gold medal – first place 2012 Chelyabinsk 100 kg
Silver medal – second place 2005 Rotterdam 100 kg
Bronze medal – third place 1999 Bratislava 100 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Belgrade 100 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2008 Lisbon 100 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2010 Vienna 100 kg

Ariel "Arik" Ze'evi (Hebrew: אריאל "אריק" זאבי‎, born 16 January 1977) is a retired Israeli judoka, widely recognized as the country's most prominent judoka during his career.

Ze'evi, a dan 6 black belt in Judo, has had a long and successful career competing in half-heavyweight Judo competitions. He is an Olympic bronze medal finalist in the 2004 Summer Olympics Judo 100 kg class in Athens.


Ze'evi is Jewish,[1] and was born and raised in Bnei Brak, Israel, a predominantly Orthodox Jewish city in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

While growing up, he trained in the local Judo club in his neighborhood, together with his older brother, Roni, who was also the club's first local gold medal pioneer after having finished first in the national Israeli Judo Championships. Ze'evi, heavily influenced by his brother and his accomplishment, began training intensively, and at the age of 15 won his first national competition in the adult class, becoming the country's youngest champion ever. Despite the lack of advanced training facilities, Ze'evi continued training in his local club and steadily closed the gap to world class level, and began competing abroad.

In his personal life, Ze'evi obtained a LLB degree from the Interdisciplinary Center college, in Herzliya.

He also hosted a sports television show for the Israeli Broadcasting Authority.

Judo career[edit]

Ze'evi placed 5th competing for Israel at the 2000 Summer Olympics in the men's 100 kg division, before winning the bronze medal representing Israel at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens in the men's 100 kg division.[2]

He is the 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2012 European champion and the 2005 silver medalist. Ze'evi also won the silver medal in the open category in the 2001 World Championships.

He missed the 2005 World championships in Cairo due to a shoulder injury, and subsequently underwent surgery to repair the damage.[3]

Representing Israel at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, he failed to win a medal after losing his second match in the repechage bracket. Ze'evi told the Israeli media he does not want to end his career without a victory (probably hinting at the Judo World Championships in 2009).

According to the International Judo Federation's World Ranking List, as of April 2012, Zeevi was ranked #8.

He became the champion of Europe for the fourth time in 2012, winning the competition in Chelyabinsk, Russia.


Year Tournament Result
1999 World Championship, Birmingham (England) 5th
1999 European Championship, Bratislava (Slovakia) 3rd
2000 Sydney 2000 Olympics 5th
2001 European Championship, Paris (France) 1st
2001 World Championship Open Weight, Munich (Germany) 2nd
2002 European Championship, Maribor (Slovenia) 5th
2003 European Championship, Düsseldorf (Germany) 1st
2004 Olympic Qualification Championship, Paris (France) 1st
2004 European Championship, Bucharest (Romania) 1st
2004 Athens 2004 Olympics 3rd
2005 World Cup, Tallinn (Estonia) 3rd
2005 European Championship, Rotterdam (Netherlands) 2nd
2007 European Championship, Belgrade (Serbia) 3rd
2008 World Cup Tour, Prague (Czech Republic) 1st
2008 European Championship, Lisbon (Portugal) 3rd
2009 European Championship, Tbilisi (Georgia) 5th
2010 European Championship, Vienna (Austria) 3rd
2010 Grand Slam, Tokyo (Japan) 2nd
2011 European Championship, Istanbul (Turkey) 7th
2011 Grand Slam, Moscow (Russia) 1st
2012 European Judo Championships, Chelyabinsk (Russia) 1st

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jews in the Olympics: 63 Athletes from 7 Countries". Jewish Federation of St. Louis. Archived from the original on 2012-04-07.
  2. ^ "Judoka Arik Ze'evi earns Israel its first medal at Games". Archived from the original on 2008-03-10. Retrieved 2008-01-13.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Haaretz,19 August 2004
  3. ^ Judo / Ze'evi begins physical therapy but will miss championships Haaretz, 22 August 2007

External links[edit]