Category Archives: Alexander Danilov

Alexander Danilov – Pistol Champion (and Ambassador for Shooting Sports!)

Alexander Danilov is an Israeli pistol shooter, and one of the best in the world. As his surname suggests, he is one of the many immigrants to Israel from Russia, and originally competed on the Russian team. His accolades are well documented Wikipedia (some highlights):

  • Alexander Danilov (born Nov. 10, 1969) is an Israeli pistol shooter, who was a member of the Israeli shooting team at the 2000 Sydney Games and 2004 Athens Games.
  • Danilov has been among the world elite in both the free pistol and air pistol shooting events.
  • Danilov finished in 2nd place in the 50-meter free pistol at the 1995 European Championships.
  • In 1997, Danilov (competing for Russia) finished 5th in the men’s air pistol event at the Munich World Cup.
  • Danilov then won the gold medal for Israel at the 1999 European Championships in the 10-meter pistol in Germany.
  • Danilov won the air pistol event at the European Championship in Munich in 2000.
  • He captured the bronze medal at the 2001 Atlanta World Cup.
  • He finished fourth in the World Cup circuit 2002 tournament free pistol event in Finland, and second in the air pistol overall in the World Cup competition.
  • He came in 9th in the 2003 European Championships in the 50 meter pistol.
  • 2004 saw him come in 3rd in the Bangkok World Cup circuit event.
  • On August 5, 2004, he won the Czech Grand-Prix meet with 668.7 points, a new Israeli record.
  • In the 2004 Olympics Danilove came in 15th in the 50 meter free pistol.
  • Danilov’s wife, Olga Danilova, is a former short track speed skater who competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The picture above from the Sydney 2000 Olympics is the best I could find. If you look careful, you can see he is holding a free pistol.
Interestingly, via Google I found his name mentioned in an article that demonstrates one of the reasons I run this blog. The article was written in 2008 by Jane Herman for the online publication RJ.org, which describes itself as “News and Views of Reform Jews.” Ms. Herman writes in her article about how discovering that Jews like Danilov and Guy Starik compete in shooting sports somehow contributed to her challenging her preconceived notions about guns. She begins her article describing how she originally harbored typical anti-gun sentiments shared by too many Americans, and too many American Jews in particular. She writes:

When I’d recovered enough to ask some questions, I learned that this particular gun owner doesn’t hunt, but he does own both long guns and handguns that he uses for sport shooting. I subsequently learned that shooting is an Olympic sport requiring tremendous precision, skill and training. With a bit more help from Google, I also learned that Israelis Alexander Danilov and Guy Starek are both distinguished competitive marksman. The former, a pistol shooter, won the gold medal at the European Championships in Germany in 1999 and the latter, a free rifle competitor, placed 7th at the 1995 World Championships and 4th at the 1998 World Championships.

Even with this knowledge, I was extremely disconcerted, not so much because someone I know owns guns, but rather because I–so quickly and so wrongly–had jumped to the conclusion that the weapons are handguns and thus are “bad” in every way. I like to believe that I view the world through lenses that bring various shades of gray into focus, and I was distressed and disappointed in myself that, in this instance, I had seen it only in the starkest shades of black and white.

Now, I get the sense that Ms. Herman, aka “JanetheWriter” probably has not purchased a firearm or joined the competitive shooting sports. But her article points out the powerful example that we Jews in the shooting sports can set–we change the hearts and minds of our brothers and sisters who are simply misinformed about the nature of firearms and the shooting sports. Imagine the impact it would have had on Ms. Herman if this blog had been around in 2008 when she wrote her article; she would have discovered that not just Israelis compete at the top levels in the shooting sports, but plenty of American Jews as well.