Ariel "Arik" Ze'evi (Hebrew: אריאל "אריק" זאבי, born 16 January 1977 in Bnei Brak) 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, and was born and raised in Bnei Brak, 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 14 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.
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.
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.
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.