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Political refugee, Edouard Philippe, Georgia… Discovering Luka Mkheidze, first French medalist


PORTRAIT - Between his political refugee status, the help of a future Prime Minister and the benefit of the postponement of the Games, the judoka has had an eventful path to become an Olympic bronze medalist.

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A childhood in Georgia

25 years old, Luka Mkheidze was born on January 5, 1996 in… Tbilisi.

Very far from Val-de-Marne, where he plays today in the club of Sucy-en-Brie.

France, Mkheidze set foot there only at the age of 12, when his father decided to take his whole family far from Georgia, shaken by the Second South Ossetian War in August 2008. " My father wanted to offer a better life to his children ”, explains Mkheidze today about this choice which he undergoes, in a way, in the company of his two older sisters.

But which, 13 years later, allows him to climb on his first Olympic podium with the French nationality which he obtained in 2015.

To read also: JO: Luka Mkheidze, the unexpected ray of sunshine of a first gray day for France

Luka Mkheidze bronze medalist FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Naturalized thanks to… Edouard Philippe

A naturalization that Mkheidze owes, in part, to a certain Edouard Philippe, who had not yet been Prime Minister but who was already mayor of Le Havre, where the Mkheidze family lived for a few years.

An episode that the judoka had narrated to the newspaper

Le Parisien

in 2018: “

My club at the time,

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Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2021-07-24

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