Born in Bnei Brak in 1977, Arik Zeevi is widely recognized as the country’s most prominent judoka. A dan 5 black belt, he won his first national competition in judo in the adult class at the age of 14, becoming the country’s youngest champion ever.
He went on to win a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics in the Judo 100kg class. In 2005 he was voted the 50th greatest Israeli of all time by Israeli news website, Ynet.
Earlier this year, Zeevi unexpectedly won the European Championships for judo, becoming – at 35 – the oldest European champion. This will be Zeevi’s fourth and final Olympics. He is currently rated number seven in the world.