Los Angeles, Calif. - The first drink of the night at E! Entertainment Television’s Pre-Oscars Countdown was poured in glamorous fashion: a target with a red balloon in the center stood at one end of the brilliant blue pool at the Roosevelt Hotel. One shot, and the balloon burst and the cocktail inside dropped into a martini glass waiting below.
Khatuna Lorig, the five-time Olympian behind the bow-wielding "Hunger Games" character of Katniss Everdeen, was on hand live with E! to bring the country's hottest emerging sport - archery - to Hollywood yet again. Host Ross Matthews drank the “arrowtini” as Lorig mingled with Academy Award nominees and winners, and brought the bow and arrow sport to television screens across the United States.
Lorig says it was great working with Ross Matthews as “he is a sweet person.” She always tunes in when he criticizes dresses on E!, so it was special to be part of something she enjoys watching from home all the time. The E! crew was very friendly and welcoming, according to Lorig: “everyone was clapping, they were so excited to have a five-time Olympian there, and it made me feel important. After, they all wanted to hop out the door and try archery.”
While celebrities were not given the opportunity to try archery, Lorig offered her coaching services for a future date. She said, “think of something you want to shoot and then think of me” and promised to help anyone try archery; “They all know where to find me if they want to shoot [archery].”
Lorig got to see Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osborne as they got ready for the Red Carpet, but Jennifer Lawrence, whom Lorig described as a “gold medal Olympic standard” actress was busy doing interviews. Lorig says she did not anticipate what the Hunger Games movie would do for the sport of archery, but now “its crazy, being the center of attention in the archery world.”
Lorig’s son, Levan Onashvili, had Googled Jennifer Lawrence when Lorig was approached about training her and so she knew she “was working with a very talented actress.” She adds, “It was very fun and I was privileged to be part of that movie. The first time I saw her she did pretty good; her Olympian coach taught her well.”
The Hollywood-effect did a lot to the filming of Katniss’s shooting, but Lorig says she did very well for a beginner: “she pulled back the bow to her face and did better than anyone else in Hollywood. I asked her to anchor on her face and align the string on her face and she did.” She went to see the movie for the first time with National Head Coach KiSik Lee and several archery couples and said, “that moment was overwhelming and exciting because I knew her and I couldn’t wait to see her holding a bow and what she knew about archery technique.”
Since the Hunger Games and the 2012 Olympics, Lorig is still getting ready for competitions, like Arizona Cup (at the Ben Avery Facility on April 4-7), but she is also doing a lot of coaching. “I am enjoying archery workshops and seminars and am available for coaching.”
On the enormous spike in interest in archery stemming from this year, Lorig offers advice to new shooters: “Just keep shooting! You choose archery because it is different. It is mental training, and who doesn’t want to be mentally strong? So, stick with it and don’t stop!”
For Team Lorig fans, while Khatuna has not yet heard back from Lion’s Gate about archery in the second Hunger Games movie, coming out this November, her website, www.khatunalorig.com has been launched and she is excited about the new t-shirts she will be selling. Also, when asked to comment on a recent video of her shooting a compound bow, Lorig said that she is “seriously considering indoor competition with compound because it is a lot easier” and would allow her to “train smart and not crazy.” Shooting compound for indoor competitions is “very much one of [her] goals for next year.”