Israelis You Should Know: Yarden Gerbi

The Fellowship  |  August 12, 2016

2016 Rio Olympic Judo - Day 4 (9 August)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, AUGUST 09: Former world champion, Yarden Gerbi of Israel (white), holds Maricet Espinosa of Cuba for an ippon (10 points) to win their u63kg elimination contest during day 4 of the 2016 Rio Olympic Judo on August 9, 2016 at the Carioca Arenas, Barra, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by David Finch/Getty Images)

Name: Yarden Gerbi

Age: 27

Known for: Gerbi is an Israeli world champion at judo and a bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

About her: Born on July 8, 1989, in Kfar Saba, Israel, Yarden Gerbi was raised in a Jewish family in Netanya. Beginning at the age of 6, Yarden began learning judo, and has been training with Shani Hershko, the former Israeli women’s national coach, since childhood.

Prior to 2013, Yarden was successful in the world of judo, having twice won the Israeli judo championship and a silver (2012) and bronze (2013) at the European Judo Championships. In 2013, however, Yarden stood atop her sport, winning the gold medal and becoming World Champion in the 63 kg weight class, dislocating the shoulder of the second-ranked opponent before rendering her unconscious with a chokehold. After winning this highest honor, Yarden was asked how her fellow Israelis had responded: “I received three marriage proposals.”

This week at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, Yarden again made her country proud, capturing the bronze – the first Israeli medalist since 2008 and only the second female Olympian from Israel to ever medal.

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