Biathlon: American twin gives up Olympic spot to sister

Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:22pm EST
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By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lanny Barnes is heading to the Sochi Olympics with all the incentive in the world after her twin sister gave up her own spot in the biathlon to let her compete for the United States.

Lanny narrowly missed out on a place in the American team for Sochi after she fell ill last month and was unable to compete in the final qualifying events.

But she was given a reprieve when her 31-year-old twin sister Tracy, who did make the team, pulled out to let Lanny go in her place.

"Usually I always know what Tracy is thinking, and she shocked me. I didn't see this coming," Lanny said in an interview with NBC on Thursday.

"I was like, ‘Tracy, there's no way. This is your spot. You earned this.'

"She was very adamant about me going and she said, ‘No, I want you to go.' It was a very emotional moment for both of us," Lanny told NBC's "Today" program.

The two Colorado sisters competed together at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin but only Lanny made the U.S. team for Vancouver in 2010.

Tracy earned her spot on a second Olympic team when she qualified as the fifth-best American, one place ahead of Lanny.   Continued...