US Olympic athlete gives up team spot to twin sister

US Olympic athlete gives up team spot to twin sister

Credit: Getty Images

Tracy Barnes of the United States of America competes in the Womens Biathlon 4x6km Relay Final on Day 13 of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games on February 23, 2006 in Cesana San Sicario, Italy.

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by USA TODAY

KING5.com

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Tracy Barnes made the ultimate sacrifice -- giving up her spot on the U.S. Olympic biathlon team -- to the one person who has been with her every step of the way.

After making the Olympic team over the weekend, Tracy Barnes gave up her spot to twin sister Lanny Barnes, who was too sick to compete in the selection races.

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"I can't even begin to describe what it means to me that Tracy made such a huge sacrifice for me," Lanny said, according to a news release from U.S. Biathlon. "It's hard to put into words what she did and what it means to me. We have been training together every day for the past 15 years, and I know how hard she has worked to make this team. I think that her selfless act encompasses what an Olympian truly is.

"Often times during the hype of the Games we forget what the Olympics are really about. They aren't about the medals and the fame and all of that. The Olympics are about inspiration, teamwork, excellence, and representation. I can think of no better example of the true Olympic spirit than what Tracy did this past weekend. It took a lot of courage and sacrifice to make such a powerful decision. Tracy selflessly gave me her spot, and I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity. It's not every day that you are given a second chance like this. I thought my chance at the Olympics was over, but now I've got a second chance and will do everything I can to bring honor to her and our country in Russia."

Final nomination of the team will be confirmed by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

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