Top ranked U.S. archer and four time Olympian, Khatuna Lorig, is the woman responsible for helping hone Jennifer Lawrence’s shooting skills in preparation for the physically demanding role of Katniss Everdeen, in this spring’s global box office smash, The Hunger Games.
Lorig was profiled on NPR this week, and during the interview she discussed what it’s like to be a part of the franchise and what she’s hunting for on a personal level.
"[Lawrence is] the best ambassador we have, a sort of Kevin Costner," Lorig said. "I think she's the one who's gonna make archery more visible. That's what's happening — and I'm very happy," she said.
According to Lorig, Lawrence definitely showed some talent with the bow. After only 10 hours of training, Lorig reported that “Jennifer was shooting about 100 arrows a day with an Olympic-style recurve. Her technique was great."
And that’s no easy task, archery is known to be a sport that requires immense concentration, in addition to endurance and physicality. Plus, there’s always a danger factor associated with sharp, flying arrows.
Now that the film has wrapped, Lorig is training heavily and is on a personal quest to qualify for the Olympic games in London this summer. She is trying to earn a spot on the U.S. National Team, having become a U.S. citizen in 2007.
Prior to 2007, Lorig competed for the Unified Soviet Team (1992) and her native Republic of Georgia (1996, 2000). She was awarded the bronze medal in the Barcelona games in 1992. Lorig also has the distinction of being the only athlete to represent three different countries in the Olympic games, that is, if she makes the US team.
And although Lorig won’t know if she’s qualified until June, she’s taking advantage of the small role she played in bringing The Hunger Games to life. She wants to introduce everyone to the lost art of archery. "Once you start shooting, you're gonna like it," Lorig said. "Come on, how can you not like archery? You have to be physically strong, and you have to be mentally strong. So what else do you need in your life?"
The Hunger Games opened on March 23rd and went on to gross over $214 million internationally, and $155 million in the US alone, making it the third highest domestic debut of all time.