‘Hunger Games’ trainer Khatuna Lorig fuels interest in archery at Olympics

By Melissa Bell

Khatuna Lorig advanced to the round of 16 Wednesday morning with a 6-0 victory over Sherab Kam of Bhutan and a 6-4 win over Louise Laursen of Denmark.

Click image for full gallery: Mia Highfill, 11, shoots at a fixed target at Hoffman Archery. Interest in archery skills is exceptionally high this year. (Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post)

With the match against Laursen tied at 3, Lorig shot two 10s in a row to take the set and a 5-3 lead. In the final set, she trailed Laursen on her final arrow and needed a 10 to win. And she got it.

Lorig may be a five-time Olympian, but she has another accomplishment under her belt, which appeals to the tween set: she taught Jennifer Lawrence how to shoot a bow and arrow in preparation for “The Hunger Games.”

Lorig told the Chicago Tribune that she’s seen a huge uptick of interest in her sport since the movie was released. “I have a friend who is coaching and he usually gets four or five calls a month about archery. Now he’s getting 10 a week,” she told the paper.

The Post’s Petula Dvorak wrote last week how interest in the sport has overwhelmed Washington-area recreation departments:

“It’s never been like this before; it’s been crazy,” said a besieged Farron Moss, who runs Hoffman Archery in Warrenton. “We’re being called left and right to put on archery camps. So much so that it’s affecting my retail business.”

 

Last year, eight boys signed up for his class. This summer at one of his camps, he had nine tween girls in his archery store, sitting on the floor in between boxes of arrows, rows of camo gear and a stuffed, impaled bear. They are all braces and lanky legs, sparkly Sketchers shoes and Katniss braids.

The interest likely won’t end anytime soon. Lorig is set to compete in the archery finals on Thursday. The “Hunger Games” sequel is slated for release next year.