Few people have had as big an influence on the sport of archery in America as Khatuna Lorig. Recently, the Olympic medal winner helped train the lead actress of “The Hunger Games”, Jennifer Lawrence, in proper archery techniques. As you will see, there was no better person for the job than Lorig.
Lorig has a natural penchant for teaching. In 1995, she earned a degree in Physical Education from the Physical and Sport Institute. When not following her own strict training regimen, Lorig can be found teaching others the craft of archery. She is generous with her time, educating children in programs overseen by the Easton Foundations, coaching soldiers in the U.S. Air force as she tours bases around the world, and yes, even working with movie stars in blockbuster films like “The Hunger Games.” Lorig is one of the biggest forces promoting the sport of archery through both education and her performance as a competitor.
In the span of her archery career, Lorig has had the rare distinction of representing three different countries in the Olympic Games. Most recently, it was the United States in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. And even with the 2012 London games quickly approaching, Lorig found the time to make sure Lawrence looked the part of an authentic archer on the big screen.
Lawrence’s character in the “The Hunger Games”, Katniss Everdeen, relies on her skills of archery and hunting to try and survive the nationally televised Hunger Games – an event where the Capitol chooses one boy and one girl from each district to fight to the death.
We caught up with Khatuna Lorig and asked her what the experience of training Starlet Jennifer Lawrence was like.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you met Jennifer Lawrence?
Khatuna Lorig: We trained at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, Calif. on a beautiful, sunny day. She showed up full of life and was very outgoing. She struck me as amazingly talented for just being 20 years old. She was a lot of fun to work with.
Q: What kind of training did you do to get Lawrence ready for her role in the Hunger Games?
Khatuna Lorig: We did 10 lessons total. They each lasted for one hour a day. I started by teaching her the fundamentals and proper form. Early on in the training, we focused on not getting hurt and not moving the body when shooting. Not learning the proper techniques right from the start would only make things harder down the road, but after a few lessons, Jennifer was shooting about 100 arrows a day with an Olympic-style recurve. Her technique was great.
Q: How did Lawrence respond to the training?
Khatuna Lorig: I think she was expecting it to be easy. There is so much more to archery than meets the eye. It is really complicated and takes a lot of work. Also, training someone for a movie is different than training someone for competition. You have a small amount of time to make it look real. It has to be safe from the beginning, and all the details and small things of professional form need to be covered. It has to look good enough for the camera. Jennifer did great. She never complained once.
Q: Have you noticed that with Movies like “The Hunger Games”, “Lord of the Rings” and “Avatar” that archery is becoming more popular as a sport?
Khatuna Lorig: Yes, I am so happy for it. “The Hunger Games” is all about how good of an archer Katniss is and Jennifer will be looking great with a bow in her scenes. Archery deserves to have it. I am very happy to see it as the theme in these movies.