DENVER, Colo. –One woman has been ruling the archery world for decades. Khatuna Lorig, 42, is a 5-time Olympic archer.
She currently lives in California and is traveling constantly for competitions. FOX21’s Taylor Bishop spoke with her at No Limits Archery in Denver to learn what it takes to be a world champion.
Originally from Georgia, she picked up her first bow and arrow in grade school and has been involved in the sport ever since.
Lorig said, “It was offered in 6th grade to the kids and you know I’m one of those who doesn’t want to go to school and I’d take the offer.”
She soon found her excuse for skipping class was something more when she started winning. Now she’s competed in five Olympics for three different countries and her proudest moment was in Beijing in 2008.
“Here I am carrying the flag for the greatest nation in the world, huge nation and I was the one who got the privelege to carry the flag,” said Lorig.
But it hasn’t been easy.
Lorig said, “Basically we get up, we go to shoot, we’ll go to lunch, go back to shooting and come back to shooting, workout three or four times a week, that’s my routine.”
Before major competitions she’ll train for eight hours a day and drawing back the arrows on her bow is equivalent to pulling about 50 pounds.
“Call me crazy but I love this sport,” said Lorig. “I’ve been doing it over 30 years. I’ve done five olympics, missed one and now this is the second one I’m missing and it’s breaking my heart.”
While Lorig did make the USA Olympic Archery Team, unfortunately the team didn’t qualify for Rio.
“It hurts. I don’t know how to explain it. It hurts.” Lorig said, “I have to wait four more years. I’m going to suffer. I’m going to cry, let it out.”
But as hard as it is for her to miss the 2016 games, you can bet she’s got her sights set on 2020.
“Nothing comes easy. You have to work hard. Especially if you dream for stars,” said Lorig. “You know, to reach those stars you have to train hard. You’re going to be in pain. You’re going to lose. You’re going to cry but you’re going to learn something.”
In 2015 this bow-and-arrow slinging mom beared it all in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue, something she says was new for her.
Lorig said, “It was something new and it was very classy and I was priveleged to be a part of that chosen ones and I was amazed and I was very proud that that is an archer, a 5-time Olympian, mom over there and the body I have it’s the archery.”
Step aside Katniss, Lorig is also the official Hunger Games archery coach. She spent time with Jennifer Lawrence showing her how to look like a real archer.
“Many archers would look at her, professionals or someone who has shot arrows before would say, ‘Yeah she actually has skills of archery’,” said Lorig. “Not like Lord of the Rings which I love the movie but it’s not happening shooting like that in real life.”
Lorig won an Olympic bronze medal in 1992. She won the 2015 Pan American Championship and she’s the 2016 Indoor World Cup champion.