Position: Head coach
Weapon Specialty: Foil
Gia Kvaratskhelia (pronounced GEE-uh Klaw-duh-SKELL-ee-uh) is the head fencing coach at Escrime du Lac. He is also the head coach of the fencing program at the University of Notre Dame. Gia is a foil specialist, and is regarded as one of the top foil coaches in the nation.
Gia grew up in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia and began fencing in 1988 at the age of 13. He progressed quickly and was a member of the Georgian National Foil Team from 1990-94, during which time he fenced alongside the likes of Vladimir Aptiaouri (a member of the U.S.S.R. foil team that won gold at the 1988 Olympics). Gia took home the bronze medal at the 1990 Soviet Junior National Championship - shortly before Georgia declared its independence - and later had an impressive 11th-place finish at the 1992 European Championship.
Gia is fluent in Russian, Georgian and English. He received his bachelor's degree in physical education and sport in 1993 from the Georgian State Physical Training Institute in his hometown of Tbilisi. He also earned a sports journalism certificate from that institution (`92) and pursued graduate studies in journalism at Tbilisi State University in 1993 prior to coming to the United States.
Gia was the 2013 Midwest Fencing Conference Varsity Coach of the Year and the 2010-11 U.S. Fencing National Coach of the Year.
Gia and his wife Dani Edson have two children, Maya and Alexander.