Are you gearing up for the onslaught of #human #interest #humaninterest stories provided by the 2014 Winter Olympics? More important than the sports themselves are cutesy adorable things about sports -- and we've got our first, perhaps best story of the cycle: biathlete Tracy Barnes qualified for Sochi, but decided her spot should belong to her twin sister, Lanny, who was sick during qualifying.
after missing three qualifying races with illness, Lanny finished trials sixth amongst American women, leaving her one spot too low to join the five headed to the Olympics. Tracy felt her sister deserved to go:
"I can't even begin to describe what it means to me that Tracy made such a huge sacrifice for me," Lanny Barnes said in an email to The Herald Monday afternoon from Italy. "We have been training together every day for the past 15 years and I know how hard she has worked to make this team."
The pair, from Durango, Colo., had competed in the 2006 Olympics in Torino together, but only Lanny was able to qualify for the 2010 games. Now, she's a three-time Olympian. Don't expect to see Barnes bringing home a medal in Sochi -- she finished 23rd in the 15-kilometer event in Vancouver, well off the podium but the best American finish in the event since 1994 -- but that's not what this is about.
"The Olympics are about more than just winning gold, or even competing," Tracy said. "They are about friendship, cooperation, sacrifice, and a whole host of other things. Lanny is my best friend and my teammate. I see how hard she works on a daily basis, so I know first hand that she is deserving of a spot on the Olympic Team. If I can be the one to give her that opportunity, than that is an honor and a sacrifice that I am willing to make."
In case you're wondering what a pair of twin biathletes call their website, check out TwinBiathletes.com. Only one will be skiing and shooting stuff in Sochi, but this is still awwwww-worthy.