Mamuka Gorgodze – Honored sportsman of Georgia

11-Jul-2011
Mamuka Gorgodze – Honored sportsman of Georgia

Mamuka Gorgodze – a player of Georgian national team and French club “Montpellier” – was awarded the honorary title of ‘Knight of Sport’ in Tbilisi, on July 9.

He received the prize from Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Lado Vardzelashvili, several minutes before the start of open training session at the “Shevardeni” base.

Gorgodze becomes the first rugby player in Georgia who took the award which was established several years ago. Chess grandmaster Maia Chiburdanidze, as well as veteran footballers of Dinamo Tbilisi squad that triumphed in 1981, are amongst the several few, who have received the honorary title.

Mamuka Gorgodze marks his 27th anniversary on July 14. Remarkably, he converted to rugby from basketball to start his career in local “Lelo”. From 2005, Gorgodze plays for French “Montpellier”. His debut in national team came on March 9, 2003 against Russians in Krasnodar.
Since then, Gorgodze has made 37 appearances, scoring 19 tries. His position in Georgian squad is number eight, but he also plays as a flanker in “Montpellier”.

Thanks to his powerful, dominating displays and rampaging style of play, Gorgodze is nicknamed ‘Gulliver’ in Georgia, and ‘Gorgodzilla’ or ‘Caucasian Colossus’ by his French teammates and fans.

‘Gulliver’ was also named in a Top 14 dream team: traditionally, halfway through the season, French daily rugby paper “Midi Olympique” selects the best players of the season, and this year, Georgia’s III rower Mamuka Gorgodze – who played a vital part in “Montpellier’s” success – was chosen as best number seven. Notably, “Midi Olympique” published three different teams of the year – besides the top 14 dream team, there were two other squads filled exclusively by the French and foreign players, respectively. Gorgodze also came out as the best number seven amongst foreigners.

What’s more, Gorgodze claimed the title of the best foreign player in Top 14, according to French daily L’equipe magazine. In the rest of the 12 nominations, Gorgodze’s trainer in “Montpellier” – Fabien Galthie took home the prize of the best coach.

Gorgodze, who weighs 118kgs and is 196cms tall – almost unstoppable once on the field –becomes an instantaneous threat to the opponents. The web is full of his videos where ‘Gulliver’ shows off a beastly power – hitting and easily bouncing off Toulon’s English star Johnny Wilkinson here, or stealing and throwing the ball still wrapped in a Spanish player’s shirt there…

Currently, 27-year-old honorary ‘Knight of Georgian sport’ – Gorgodze, along with 31 of his team mates, prepares for the World Cup, in which he will take part for the second time.
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