Anatoliy Moshik won a bronze medal yesterday at the European Weightlifting Championships in Kazan, Russia - the first medal Israel has won in the sport since 1992.
Moshik's accomplishment is even more remarkable given the difficulties he has had to overcome on the way: working nights as a security guard in Be'er Sheva nightclubs while training, internal squabbles within the Israeli Weightlifting Federation and the fact that he only got Israeli citizenship at the last minute.
"I'm delighted not to have disappointed everyone who believed in me," Moshik told Haaretz after yesterday's medal ceremony, "and that I managed - partially, at least - to fulfill expectations. I was under a lot of pressure, and I certainly felt the weight of expectations, partly because of the financial implications for me."
Until now, Moshik has not been entitled to financial aid from the government, but this medal means he will now receive a monthly stipend.
Moshik, 29, who immigrated to Israel after falling in love with Israel's top female weightlifter, Marina Ochman, took third and sixth places in the snatch and jerk events respectively.
Since Israel's weightlifting pedigree is not particularly impressive and the Israel Olympic Committee does not expect to send a team to the London Olympics, Moshik will have to squeeze into the world's top 15 if he want to participate next summer.
Although the European Championships do not contribute to his points tally, Moshik can take his current good form into the World Championships in Paris in October.