One of the world's top gymnasts during the 1990s, Azerbaijan-born Valeri Belenki was ranked No. 1 in the world in 1990, and ranked among the Top Ten 1992–1997.
At the World Championships in 1991, Belenki won the gold medal in the Pommel Horse, and a Team gold medalist in the All-Around.
Competing for the Unified Team (Soviet Union) at the 1992 Olympic Games, Belenki won a gold medal in Team Combined Exercises, and took a bronze in Individual All-Around. At that year's World Championships, and again at the 1993 WC, he won bronze in Parallel Bars.
With the break-up of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan was left without a gymnastics federation. So Belenki became a German citizen and represented his new country at the 1994 World Championships. He finished third (tied) in the Rings event, helping his new country to an overall fifth place finish.
Belenki represented Germany at the 1996 Olympics but did not medal. It wasn't until 1997 at the World Championships that he won his last gold medal, in the Pommel Horse event.