Kakhiashvili was born in Tskhinvali, Georgia, to a Georgian father and a Greek mother, Maria Lamprianidi. He is renowned in weightlifting circles primarily because when he lifted for Georgia, he went against the instructions of his Coach Vasily Alexeev, the all-time weightlifting great. His coach wanted a Russian boy to take the contest and did not let Kakhiashvili try to lift heavier to beat the Russian. Kakhi however ordered a full extra 10 kilos to be put on in order to beat his Russian teammate. He won, lifting the weight in a spectacular fashion that established his right to the title of one of the sports elite lifters. Kakhiashvili is also renowned in weightlifting circles for his uncanny ability to lift exactly what was required to win. Dubbed as a "computer" by some competitors, he also had the ability to block out everything that was not relevant to the competition at hand.