Arik Ze'evi has become Israel's most successful judoka in the time since he won silver at the 2001 World Championships. He is also one of Israel's best chances of a medal at the upcoming Beijing Olympics. Ze'evi, who was inspired to take up judo after his two older brothers competed in the sport, had his first taste of success when he won the 1995 European Junior Championships in the 86 kg class. When Ze'evi won his third European title in 2004 he became the first Israeli athlete to win three titles in any sport. Perhaps Ze'evi's finest hour came in the Athens Olympics of 2004 when he beat Elco van Der Geest in the repechage to clinch the bronze medal, the first of Israel's medals in Athens.