Profile Born in Ts’khinvali, Georgia, Kakhi Kakhiashvili, or Akakios Kakiasvilis as he would be named later, is one of the best weightlifters of all-time, winning three Olympic gold medals and eight world titles in his career.
Georgian-born Kakhi Kakhiashvili first entered the weightlifting spotlight at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as part of the Commonwealth of Unified States (CIS) team. He won a dramatic gold medal in the 94kg category, as he equalled his countryman Sergei Syrtsov with a world record lift on his last lift, finishing first by virtue of his lower body weight.
One year later, at the 1993 World Championships, Kakhiashvili won the gold medal in the 94kg category (clean and jerk) representing Georgia, adding his first world title to his list of honours.
In 1994, Kakhiashvili adopted the Greek nationality, officially changing his name to Akakios Kakhiashvili. His mother Maria Labrianidi was of Greek origin, and after the family had moved to live in Greece, Kakhiashvili wanted to compete for his second and new home country.
It took until the 1995 World Championships for Kakhiashvili to win his first two gold medals (99kg clean and jerk, 99kg overall) for his new country after winning only silver medals at the 1994 World Championships. In 1998 and 1999, Kakhiashvili won another five world titles.
However, it was the Olympic success that earned Kakhiashvili a permanent place in the hearts of the Greeks. At the Olympic Games of 1996 and 2000 in Atlanta and Sydney, Kakhiashvili won two gold medals, one in the 99 kg and one in the 94 kg categories. He is one of only four weightlifters to have won three consecutive gold medals at the Olympics. The other three are his Greek compatriot Pyrros Dimas, and the Turks Naim Süleymanoglu and Halil Mutlu.