‘Gulliver’ turned 27 years old on July 14

18-Jul-2011
 

The player of Georgian national team and French club “Montpellier” – Mamuka Gorgodze, a.k.a. ‘Gulliver’ and ‘Gorgodzilla’ celebrated his 27th birthday on July 14.

The fans presented him the cake decorated as a rugby pitch, complete with the goalposts and the football made of whipped cream.

Gorgodze, who weighs 118kgs and is 196cms tall, switched to rugby from basketball. He started playing in local “Lelo” and continued his career in French “Montpellier from 2005. 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”.

A week before his birthday, Gorgodze was awarded the honorary title of a ‘Knight of Georgian Sport’. He received the prize from Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Lado Vardzelashvili, ahead of the start of open training session at the “Shevardeni” base.

Gorgodze is the first rugby player in Georgia who received the prize. The award 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 few, who have received the honorary title.

Gorgodze enjoyed a strong season this year, playing a vital part in “Montpellier’s” success. He also became the first Georgian rugby player to be named in Top 14 dream team. By tradition,
halfway through the season, French daily rugby paper “Midi Olympique” selects the best players, and this year, Georgia’s III rower Gorgodze was chosen as the 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.

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.

Once on the field, ‘Gulliver’ – almost unstoppable – 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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