Olympics + 'Hunger Games' = a big boost for archery

Olympic athlete Khatuna Lorig, who trained 'Hunger Games' star Jennifer Lawrence, said that she's seen a huge spike in the popularity of archery.

Olympic archer Khatuna Lorig gave 'Hunger Games' star Jennifer Lawrence lessons in how to handle her bow and arrow. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

The blockbuster young adult trilogy “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins is being credited as one of the factors behind the rise in popularity of archery at this year’s Olympic Games.

US Olympic archer Khatuna Lorig, who trained “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Collins to use her bow and arrow to play Katniss Everdeen in the film version of Collins’ first book, said she has seen a huge rise in public awareness of the sport.

“When I train in North Hollywood, you have to get there two hours early to get a chance to shoot,” she said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.

American archer Brady Ellison, who is competing in the Olympics, said that he had seen a rise in the sport’s popularity in the US after “Hunger Games” and the release of “Brave,” the new Pixar film about a Scottish princess who loves using her bow and arrow.

“I do feel like this year that with all the movies and stuff that has come out, especially in the States, we are getting a lot more recognition for the sport,” Ellison told the Tribune.

Archery USA, a national group, even wrote a letter to author Collins, thanking her for bringing the sport into the limelight.

“When Katniss Everdeen started brandishing her bow and arrows on movie screens across America, our phones began (literally, began) ringing nonstop,” the letter read.

Peter Jones of the Governing Body of the sport of archery in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, told the Guardian that in the United Kingdom, “Hunger Games” hasn’t had as much of an effect on the sport’s popularity, but that the breaking of two world records by South Korean athlete Im Dong-hyun was bringing archery to the public’s attention again.

“It's a great sport for the family to do together,” he said of the activity’s appeal. “Absolutely anyone can do it.”