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Since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing came to a close, USA Archery has experienced somewhat of a renaissance and archer Khatuna Lorig has been around for every step of the team’s rise.
A five-time Olympian for three different countries dating to 1992, Lorig, who's in her late 30s, became a U.S. citizen in 2007 after emigrating from Georgia in 1996.
She moved to West Hollywood after a decade in New Jersey.
"I love it in California,” Lorig said. "The weather is perfect for archery, so there is no way that I’m leaving anytime soon."
Since she started competing for the U.S., the country’s archers have been giving traditional powers, such as South Korea and China, some serious competition.
World Archery, the sport’s international federation, recently named the U.S. "the best nation in archery since 2008."
With Lorig in tow, the women’s team earned gold at the 2012 Archery World Cup after taking silver the year before.
"This is the strongest team in our history," USA Archery head coach Kisik Lee said. "They are ranked higher than any other American team and we are in a great position this Olympics."
The American side is talented enough this year to qualify six archers -- three men and three women -- for the Olympic Games. That is the maximum amount a country is allowed to send. The women’s team has not competed in the team event since 2004.
Lorig was the last member of this year’s team to qualify for the Olympics, but Lee maintains that she should not be overlooked.
"Khatuna is in better condition than any other Olympian on the team," Lee said. "She is very strong mentally and physically. She has really been a great addition for us."
Lorig will shoot alongside archers Miranda Leek and Jennifer Nichols in London to form what is predicted to be a formidable group in the team competition.
"We have very good potential," Lorig said. "But it’s going to take all three of us to medal."
In 2008 the U.S. sent Lorig and Nichols to Beijing. Lorig finished fifth, while Nichols placed 26th.
Despite not making it to the podium, Lorig left the Games on a high note. She was chosen by her fellow American athletes to be the flag bearer at the Olympic Closing ceremonies.
"I was going through a hard time in my life and it was a way for everyone to say thank you for my hard work," Lorig said. "I really feel lucky and I can’t thank Team USA enough for what they did for me."
In addition to her Olympic prowess, Lorig had a noteworthy performance outside of competition, coaching actress Jennifer Lawrence in the leading role in "The Hunger Games."
"It’s a mental and physical sport, but anyone can do it," she said.
Her work with Lawrence has only contributed to her desire to coach once she is done shooting for Team USA.
"I would love to continue work like that," Lorig said.
She hoping to make history in another way. She has a 19-year-old son who's an archer she hopes will qualify to compete with her in 2016.
"I don’t think a mother and son have qualified before so that would be really cool," she said.
A fierce competitor, Lorig won a bronze medal with the Soviet Union in 1992, but she is not willing to let that be her only piece of Olympic hardware.
"If I win a medal," Lorig said, "I want more."