Enormous excitement at Ben Gurion Airport this morning (Tuesday), with the landing of the new gold medalist, Artium Dolgofiat. The 24-year-old gymnast won the ground competition on Sunday at the Olympic Gymnasium in Tokyo and became the second gold medalist in the history of Israeli sports, the first since the sailing wave Gal Friedman in 2004.
Serving people, including many teenagers from the Maccabi Tel Aviv Association to which he belongs – waited for Dolgofiat outside the reception hall. The gymnast went out with his trainer Sergei Weisburg and carried on his shoulders.
Dolgofyat said: “This is the warmest hug I have ever received in my life. I want to thank everyone, I want to cry with excitement. I feel I have a lot of pressure on me now, but I hope it works out. Shtilov? We went all the way together, we are like a big brother and a little brother. “Alex started the road and I continue. I hope they will come after me.”
Weisburg: “On the one hand we did not expect such a celebration, but this is the first time there is an Olympic gymnastics champion. Congratulations to Artium.”
Shtilov: “I get excited with everyone, there are a lot of kids here and I’m sure Artium is an example like I used to be for him. Sergei and Artium always stay with their feet on the ground and take things in proportion. I’m sure they will know how to continue from here.”