If you’ve ever wanted to be like Katniss Everdeen, heroine of “The Hunger Games” book trilogy and movie franchise, you’re not alone. Ivanka Trump recently made headlines and caught the attention of archery addicts worldwide when she picked up a recurve bow at Gotham Archery in Brooklyn, New York. She then took a few shots from about 10 yards and posted a short video to Instagram, where she has 1.9 million followers. “Channeling my inner Katniss,” she said.
Ivanka Trump, 35, is usually seen as a beautiful fashion model, a smart businesswoman, and a patient, poised spokeswoman for her father and his companies. She co-starred on the fifth season of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” and she designs her own lines of clothing and jewelry. She’s a married mother of three children. In other words, Ivanka has it all. She also has decent archery form.
Let’s take a look:
- Her legs are spaced to about shoulder width, which helps her maintain a stable center of gravity. She could probably bring it in a couple of inches, because overdoing it can make an archer less stable, but that could also be blamed on her boots.
- Her front arm is nice and straight, but maybe just a little too straight. A slight bend in the bow arm reduces fatigue and reduces the chance of the bowstring hitting the archer’s arm on release.
- She needs to relax her bow hand a little. Gripping the bow too tightly can reduce accuracy.
- Many recurve shooters like to tilt their bow slightly, sometimes referred to as canting. That tilt helps keep the arrow on their rest, especially while bowhunting. However, Ivanka is holding her bow in a nice Olympic-competition style. However archers hold their bow, they should practice often so they can hit the same spot every time.
- She does a great job keeping her elbow up and looking down the arrow. When watching the video, it’s clear her draw hand stays in a great position.
- The video also shows her patience. She controls her breathing and doesn’t rush the shot. Those important traits are proof that Ivanka Trump has done this before.
Let’s compare this to Katniss Everdeen.
Jennifer Lawrence, who played Everdeen in the movies, trained with renowned archer and Olympian Khatuna Lorig. But that doesn’t keep her from making a few mistakes. In this widely released photo, Lawrence’s draw hand is too low, which keeps her from aiming down the shaft of the arrow. Perhaps the movie director didn’t want her hand covering her face and was willing to trade technical accuracy for imagery. More importantly, her front index finger is often shown in the arrow’s path, either pointed straight or curling around the arrow. That probably keeps it on the rest, because she’s not canting her bow. If she releases the arrow with her finger there, she’s risking serious injury. As a side note, her arrow might also be a bit long, but let’s not nitpick.
So, judging by what we see in our Ivanka Trump vs. Katniss Everdeen comparison, Trump might be the better archer.
That might be a surprise, but Lawrence had to learn a new sport for “The Hunger Games,” while archery seems to run in the Trump family. Both of Ivanka’s brothers, Eric Trump and especially Donald Trump Jr., are avid bowhunters. According to The New Yorker, Donald Jr. rarely spends time in New York City on weekends, preferring to take his family outdoors to fish or bowhunt. Trump Jr. credits his mother, Ivana, and her father, Miloš Zelniček, for introducing them to the outdoors in Czechoslovakia, Ivana’s home country.
The Trumps aren’t the only people in politics who shoot a bow. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, is an avid archer and considered by many as a “master bowhunter.” In addition, Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden have also taken their best shots at archery while serving in Washington.
As President Obama prepares to leave office, perhaps the White House bowling alley will be replaced by a topnotch archery range. The Trumps would then have their own special place to relieve the stress of the presidency, the world of high fashion, and the duties of running Trump International. If Ivanka and her brothers have any sway, archery could overtake baseball as America’s national sport!
Although that’s unlikely, the Trumps’ archery appreciation can only make the sport more popular. And if Ivanka finds the time, she could even give Katniss Everdeen a few pointers!