Watching Alex Shatilov perform is truly breathtaking.
Measuring at 1.83-meters, Shatilov towers above almost all of his competitors and his displays, especially in the floor exercise, are a joy to behold.
But as aesthetically pleasing as it may be to watch Shatilov, that doesn’t guarantee him a medal.
The 25-year-old will be expecting nothing less, though, entering the Olympics as one of Israel’s best hopes after scaling the podium consistently in major events over recent years.
Shatilov won his third career medal at the European Championships in May, finishing the floor final in Montpellier, France in third place.
The previous year, Shatilov won a silver in the event, also finishing third in the Europeans in 2009.
With two bronze medals to his name from the World Championships in 2009 and 2011, it should come as little surprise Shatilov has repeatedly declared he will settle for nothing less than a medal in London.
Four years ago, Shatilov became the first Israeli to compete in an individual artistic gymnastics Olympic final, eventually making a mess of his exercise in the floor final to finish in eighth position overall.
He enters London with the experience from Beijing and the confidence of recent triumphs, and barring any mishaps, the 2012 Games should be the crowning moment of Shatilov’s already historic career.