Words to Live By from Lanny Barnes

By Lanny Barnes, Prois Pro-Staffers and Twin Biathletes www.twinbiathletes.com

The path to becoming an Olympian has no map, or trail marker, or mile marker, or Olympian for dummies book. This path however sits at the corner of life, heartache, and dreams. Every step is carved out by a million missteps, stumbles, falls and leaps. When we set out, we discover how many of those around us are willing to lend us a hand to help us find the right path. Those are the people beside us and behind us lifting us up and helping us find the right road, the right path, and giving us the wings to soar. Every setback isn’t a step back, it’s a comeback and a chance to soar again. These are a few things I’ve learned along the road to becoming an Olympian and while the 2014 Olympic Winter Games have ended,  it is only the beginning of a new dream and new path. I didn’t bring home a medal in Sochi, but I brought home so much more in experiences, perspective and my gratitude towards those who have helped both of us in this incredible journey.

The life lessons and challenges we’ve faced in biathlon over the past 15 years have not only helped us to become a better competitor, but it’s allowed us to find out exactly who we are. Thanks to all of you we know now that we won’t give up no mater what life throws at us and that we are also willing to make sacrifices for the ones we love. The last race of my career and my last Olympic race I decided that I was either going out there to win it or die trying. The sacrifice all of you have made for me deserved nothing less than my full effort. I unfortunately didn’t win, but I did die trying and had nothing left at the finish. I have always set very high goals for myself but nothing that I didn’t think wasn’t possible. All of you have pushed and encourage me to try and follow my dreams no matter how hard and challenging they might be. One of my big goals besides bringing home a medal was to try and inspire those around me in some way. I hope that both Tracy and I have as all of you have inspired us to keep pushing no matter how hard things got. I know that when I die and it comes time for God to judge me, he will not ask “how many gold medals have you won?” rather he will ask “how many people did you inspire and how much love did you put into what you did and those around you.” This is not only what I hope to have achieved, but it is something you have achieved as well. Thank you for your inspiration and for allowing us become Olympians and represent not only our country, but you. Tracy and I will dedicate our lives to giving back to all of you who have selflessly given to us and our dreams. Thank you!
-Tracy & Lanny

Lanny Barnes Olypmics Update!

By Lanny Barnes

The Olympics officially start just 4 days from now and I am on the ground in Sochi training at the Laura Biathlon venue that we will compete on in the Olympics. This venue is the largest biathlon venue in the world and is supposed to hold over 80,000 people in the stadium and on course. We had our first training on the venue and our race course yesterday and I have to honestly say I love it!!

 

We concluded our final training camp in Antholz, Italy and headed to Munich, Germany which would be the staging point for our team processing and our charter flight to Sochi. Our team processing consisted of checking in with the US Olympic Committee, getting our visa’s, our phones for Russia, all our team clothing such as opening and closing ceremonies and medals ceremonies clothing, doing interviews, and taking team and individual photos. A lot of Olympian describe the team processing as shopping without a credit card. You usually leave with more bags and gear than you can cary.

 

The next morning early, we boarded our charter flight to Sochi. Our flight consisted of the entire Biathlon team, as well as some members of the Luge, cross country, figure skating and Freeskiing teams. It was a fun flight that made it into Sochi only 3 hours after we took off. As soon as we landed we grabbed our mountain of gear (minus our rifles that went straight to the venue) and headed through several security and accreditation checks before taking the 1 hr bus ride to the base of the mountains. There was a definite security presence everywhere that made us all feel really safe. Sochi is a tropical city, so there was no snow and plenty of palm trees. Once we hit the base of the mountains, we took a gondola up the mountain and hoped on another bus that brought us to our athletes village. After running around organizing gear and checking into our cabins and few meetings later we hit the sack after a really long day of travel.

The next day we woke up to the most beautiful 360 degree view of the Caucasus mountains. It definitely one of the coolest athletes villages and venues I’ve ever been too. All of our races are in the evening, so most of our main trainings are in the afternoon or evening. So we took the morning to check in our rifles which were locked in a secure facility at the venue and will  remain that way until we leave, we will have access to them for training, cleaning, and dryfiring. This is normal for all Olympic games.

 

Our training on the venue couldn’t have been any better. We trained mid after noon and had blue bird skies and rock hard ski tracks. The course was a lot of fun too with some slalom type downhills and steep uphills on the 3km loop. The shooting range sits in front of a gigantic stadium that is boasted to hold over 80,000 spectators both in the stands and out on course. With the stands sitting less than 100 meters behind the range, there will definitely be some intense cheering during the shooting.

The Olympics officially kick off on Friday and the women’s first race is Sunday. We won’t find out what races we do until later in the week, so once I hear, I will send you the schedule of events I’m in. Please check out our facebook page Twin Biathletes as well as our website for updates and pictures. Thanks for all your support and help in making this dream possible. Can’t wait for the races to start!! Have a great week.

-Lanny