A Champion's Spirit: Twin gives up Olympic spot to sister

Posted at: 02/21/2014 6:53 PM
Updated at: 02/21/2014 6:54 PM
By: Kim Tobin, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It's an Olympic story that's made national headlines. A Durango woman gave up her Olympic spot, so her twin sister could compete in Sochi instead.

"She's my best friend and she's always been completely supportive of me," Tracy Barnes said about her sister Lanny.

The 31-year-olds have been biathletes for most of their lives. They've competed alongside each other and went to the 2006 winter games together.

"She's got this little ball of fire inside of her when she's out there on the course," Tracy said. "The more pressure, the better."

But during qualifiers in Italy, Lanny fell sick and couldn't compete.

"It's funny, because she's the older twin, but I've always kind of taken on this motherly role, like the older sister," Tracy said.

Tracy got her olympic spot. After all her hard work, she gave it up for her sister.

"I felt that that it was the right thing to do, and I was super excited that I had the opportunity to do that for her and make a difference," Tracy said.

Tracy was able to fly to Sochi to watch her twin compete in the women's individual biathlon. Lanny didn't bring home a medal, but says she's glad she had the experience.

But Tracy did bring home some hardware. She was honored with the fair play trophy in Sochi, for her selfless act.

"Hopefully it inspires some people to do something good for one of their family members, or their friends," Tracy said.