About Famous Georgians – Kola Kwariani
Born in the city of Kutaisi in Georgia on 16 January 1903, Kola Kwariani (Georgian: კოლა (კოლია) ქვარიანი) was a Georgian professional wrestler known by the ring name Nicholas Kwariani or Nick the Wrestler.
Kola saw wrestling for the first time at the age of 7 at a circus performance in Kutaisi and in 1917 began professional training in Tbilisi with the French wrestling coach, Joe Moreau. He moved to the United States in the 1930’s and fought 556 matches (data by wrestlingdata.com) during his professional wrestling career.
Kwariani was the only chess-playing professional wrestler in the United States according to Chess Review magazine. In the 1950s, he was a member of the Chess and Checker Club in New York City, also known as “The Flea House”.
Kwariani had a role in Stanley Kubrick’s 1956 film The Killing, as a chess-playing wrestler named Maurice Oboukhoff, who is hired to start a fight as a diversion during a robbery. Kubrick gave him one of the best speeches in the film: “You know, I have often thought that the gangster and the artist are the same in the eyes of the masses. They are admired and hero-worshipped, but there is always present an underlying wish to see them destroyed at the peak of their glory.”
Kwariani died tragically in 1980 at the age of 77 following an assault by multiple assailants outside the Chess and Checker Club in New York.
CLICK on the logo to visit GEORGIA ABOUT on Facebook and see photos and news about Georgia. Click LIKE on the page and become a friend of GEORGIA ABOUT.