This past weekend concluded our three gun competitions for the summer with 4 weeks of competitions in a row. We have learned a lot about the sport of 3 gun in the past month (mostly through trial & error during matches) that will help us to improve in the future. We started out at the JP Rocky Mountain 3 gun in New Mexico (4th & 5th Tactical Lady, 43rd & 52nd Overal Tactical), then traveled to Bend, Oregon for the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 gun, then it was on to the Brownells Rockcastle 3 gun ProAm in Kentucky (6th & 8th Lady, 126 & 131 Overal) and finally the Noveske Area 2 Championships in Byers, CO (4th & 5th Tac Lady, 32nd & 39th Tactical Overal). These were our 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th major 3 gun matches and we saw huge gains with each match. At each match we improved our best stages ranking higher and higher towards the top of the pack and had more consistent stages as well as having fewer bad stages. We now have a week to train for the Trijocon World Shooting Championships that will be held in West Virginia. This fall we’ll head to the 3 Gun Nation Southwest Regional Championships in Texas in October followed by the Lady 3 gun match in Georgia at the end of October. We are confident that with some more training this fall we can continue to make huge gains in 3 gun.
We also have a packed schedule of courses for the T.O.P Shooting Institute this fall and into the winter. We just finished 2 classes for competitive shooters in Colorado & Kentucky that were a huge success. This fall we have a slew of competitive shooting courses around Colorado, Utah, & New Mexico. We’ll also be starting to work with a bunch of military units out of Fort Carson, CO as well as FBI from California and special forces units from Georgia who will be coming to work with us in Durango.
By Katherine Grand
Here at Prois we have somewhat of an obsession with unicorns. I can’t remember exactly when and how this happened but I can assure you we are all quite happy that unicorns usurped and largely quieted all the gnome related posts and gifts. Let’s face it, gnomes are creepy as hell. I like to pretend that this unicorn obsession is largely a joke but if you interviewed a younger Katherine Grand anywhere from the age of 3 until, I don’t know, 5 minutes ago, you’ll find it’s totally genuine. As a little girl I drew unicorns, read about unicorns, had a grey pony I pretended was a unicorn only true believers could see.
Present day I enjoy drawing unicorns, reading about unicorns, and riding unicorns.
I can neither confirm nor deny I purchased a custom made horn from ETSY for my mare and forced my husband to take pictures of me riding her around bareback singing TRALALALALA! Don’t judge me. Now that I think of it, although I have added several things to my list of loves as an adult I have not stop loving anything I truly loved as a child. I still love horses, puppies, bugs, birds, ice cream, climbing trees, fishing, . . . . you get the point. Unleash your inner child! Ride a unicorn.
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
By Twin Biathletes and Prois Pro=Staffers
Tracy and Lanny Barnes
Today Tracy was awarded the United Nations UNESCO Fair Play Award. Since its foundation by UNESCO and a number of international sports governing bodies in Paris in 1963, the goal of the International Committee for Fair Play is the worldwide defense and promotion of fair play. In order to honor and directly recognize the acts of fair play performed either within or outside the sports world, the International Committee for Fair Play annually awards Fair Play Prizes to personalities who have proved to be excellent ambassadors of fair play. Tracy was given the Pierre de Coubertin World Trophy – for an athlete or team for an act of fair play. Pierre de Coubertin was the founder of International Olympic Committee and is consider the father of the modern Olympic Games. This award has been instrumental in promoting sportsmanship both on and off the field. It is a huge honor in sports to receive this award. Very few are given out annually. Here is what Tracy had to say in accepting this award-
“I think sportsmanship, which this award embraces, is a way for people to go beyond the playing field, or the ski course and recognize that there is more to sport than just a win. Sportsmanship is about creating champions, both on and off the field. And while I am not a champion in my sport, I do strive to be a good person and do the right thing. In sport there is winning and there is losing and sometimes in order to win you must lose or at least sacrifice the win. I didn’t go to the Olympics to compete, but I feel I have won. I had the most incredible experience of cheering my twin sister and best friend in the greatest sporting event in the world. And I couldn’t be more proud of her effort. In biathlon Lanny was not only my best friend, but my greatest competitor. And I’ve come to realize over the years that without your competition there is no sport. You have to show the same kind of respect to your competitors that you do to your teammates. That’s what makes you a good competitor both in life and in sport. I hope that my story will help to inspire people to do something good for the people they care about. Their friends, their family, their teammates, their competitors and their neighbors.
I for one have been surrounded by incredibly inspiring people my entire life and I have to say that their selflessness has rubbed off on me. Both my grandparents were in the army and air force and served their country. Our men and women in uniform are the ones who make the ultimate sacrifice, sometimes with their life so that we can enjoy our freedoms. Both my parents were school teachers and their selfless dedication to their students and that of all teachers continues to inspire me. And my older sister is a doctor and surgeon. Her dedication to helping others is a model I will continue to strive for in my life. So, if I may, I’d like to dedicate this to my family who have supported me and given me a purpose to live by and also to our men & women in uniform, our teachers, and our doctors who work to selflessly help others on a daily basis. May we all strive to dedicate ourselves to others so that we may enrich each others lives in sport and otherwise.
Thanks for seeing something in me that I may never have had the opportunity to see myself. Thanks to the International Fair Play Committee for this incredible honor and thank you to the US Olympic Committee for being such wonderful hosts.”
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.
The Olympic racing season has started! Yep, I know, it seems a bit early seeing as though the Olympics aren’t until February. But the qualifications started last week in Jericho, Vermont. Close to 150 athletes from the U.S., Canada, Sweden, and Lithuania showed up for the event. The weekend consisted of 2 races. A short 7.5 kilometer sprint race with two shooting stages and a 10 kilometer pursuit race with 4 shooting stages. The first race for Tracy and Lanny was anything but good. Poor shooting and timid skiing put the twins in the middle of the pack. The next day, with a bit of fire lit behind their back sides, and a hunger for blood, Lanny and Tracy came out guns a-blazin’ and had the fastest times for the Americans, putting them in a good
spot for the qualifiers. The twins made a huge jump from the day before, shooting great and skiing fast too. The best news that came out of the weekend of racing was that the twin’s legs were feeling better than they have in years. They experienced no symptoms like they did in years past. This put a huge smile on the twins face and made them even more motivated going into the fall training season and leading up to the Olympics this winter. The fall months are going to be packed for Tracy and Lanny as they prepare for the winter and the
next set of qualifying races in Utah in October. The twins will be home only for a week this fall and once October hits, they’ll probably only make it home a couple of days before the end of March. The qualifying races for making the Olympic team started in August and will go through the beginning of January, at which point the Olympic team will be named. And the twins have their shoe laces tied and are ready for the big push. The twins want to send out a big THANK YOU to everyone who is supporting them. You are their motivation. Have a great fall
and let’s go for gold!
In Alaska Moose have the right of way….
By: Lanny Barnes
Tracy & I boarded our second flight in Denver, Colorado that would take us to Anchorage, Alaska and yet another adventure in the world of the Twin Biathletes. After our first flight and a flight attendant that threatened every passenger that stepped foot on the plane to be thrown out face first onto the tarmac if they didn’t follow her instructions, we were hoping the next 5 hour flight & flight attendants would be a little less hostile. The male flight attendant on our second flight who resembled John Travolta with a perfectly shaped and colored black & grey goatee that complemented his jet black on bottom, grey on top “not a single hair out of place” dew, was a breath of fresh air for the stale (5 hours worth of recycled air) cabin. He was one of those people whose big goofy grin immediately made you smile or laugh. As soon as we boarded that plane and for the next 5 hours we were presented with jokes, laughs, illegal gambling, and tough history questions. Don’t worry, the illegal gambling was nothing more than collecting a dollar from willing passengers who wrote their seat number a dollar bill and threw it into a pot to be drawn by the flight attendant who insisted he won before drawing another bill and announcing a winner who ended up being a very happy 14 year old who walked away from the flight with $65 extra dollars in vacation spending money. After what seemed like the quickest 5 hour flight we’ve ever taken, the flight attendant left us with a little song… “I love you, you love me…. If you marry one of us you’ll get to fly Alaska for free”….
After settling into our home for the next two weeks which happened to be a short 15 minute bike to the biathlon venue located in Kincade park, we hit the sack. We had 3 simple goals for Alaska- bring our fitness to a new level, help grow biathlon & shooting sports in Alaska, and not get trampled or eaten by a moose or bear. Not quite as simple as it sounds, but ultimately we had to prepare ourselves for two weeks of extreme mind and body bruising intensity training as well as shooting clinics for ages 10-60 & two weeks of alert senses that would hopefully keep us from getting chased or worse by the many moose and bear that roam Alaska’s wild frontier.
The next morning we were up bright and early because Alaska summer are definitely bright and early with only 2-3 hours of dusk per night and daylight for the other 21-22 hours a day. We hit the biathlon roller ski trails and completed our first hard intensity session with our bodies feeling great with the extra O2 present at low altitude. Every morning and afternoon we would be pushing and testing ourselves to get in top physical shape to try and become the best biathlete in the world. Every evening we would put on a clinic for biathletes age 10-60 and all different levels of shooting from having never touched a rifle to having competed in World Jrs. to having extensive military shooting experience. Then every night around 9:30-10:00pm we would hop on our bikes and run the “moose & bear gauntlet”, as the locals called it, back to where we were staying. So far we are just under a week into our journey here in Alaska and have pushed ourselves physically & mentally to a new level, have worked with a bunch a great Alaskans on improving their shooting and physical shape, and we haven’t seen any bears, but are definitely letting the moose have the right of way on the trails…..
We have another week and a half of training with two biathlon races squeezed in with the highlight coming at the end… A Babes with Bullets Shooting Camp. We’ll update you again on our next weeks worth of adventures in a week… Have a great summer!!!!
Tracy and I wanted to send you a little update with some pictures and let you know how our pre-Olympic training has been going and how our legs are doing since the surgery this winter. This time a year there aren’t a lot of events going on in our sport, but we call it the silent suffering phase. We are quietly pushing ourselves to the limit to make sure we are in the best shape we can be in to beat the best in the world. We started full time training several months ago and so far the legs have responded really well. We are still continuing physical therapy to keep our lower legs loose and to break up any scar tissue we have from the surgery. Our scars have faded to the point where they are almost invisible, so we are really happy with how the surgery went and also how well we healed.
After the last bit of snow melted a few weeks ago, Tracy and I started incorporating more running, biking, rollerskiing, and strength training into our schedule. We are doing two workouts a day that last anywhere from 2-4 hours a piece that will help us build the endurance necessary to sustain the intensity we are just starting to build into our training. We have a running race (1/2 marathon) this weekend that will be a good test of our fitness and will also help us to compare out times from our results from this race last year before the surgery. Over the next several months we will gradually increase the length and intensity of our training to help us be in top shape by the time the winter rolls around and the Olympics start.
Our first really big training camp will be in Alaska starting in July. At the end of the training camp we will join the Babes with Bullets pistol camp. It is a camp set up for women of all ages and abilities from beginners to experts and taught by some of the best pistol shooters in the world like Kay Michulek andrun by Deb Ferns. After that camp we will head out to Vermont to prepare for the first set of trials races we have for our Olympic team selection process. Those races will be onrollerskis and Tracy and I are hoping to defend our titles there from last year.
Tracy and I also have seen a huge improvement in our shooting. We were very fortunate to be given permission to use a ski area that is on private land to do our combination training and set up our very own shooting range. By combination training we mean skiing, running, biking, rollerskiing, etc and shooting. We train a lot by combining the physical training with shooting to practice shooting with a heart rate so we are comfortable with coming into the range as hard as we can and with a heart rate of around 180 beats per minute. The ski area is a perfect place to practice because it we can challenge our physical fitness by running up the runs and hone our shooting skills by shooting under stress and fatigue at the top
We are very excited to see the improvement so far in our training and eager to see the snow fly again to get a chance at beating our European competitors after struggling last year with Exertional Compartment Syndrome. This should be a very fun and exciting Olympic year. We are confident in our chances of bringing home the first ever medal for biathlon in the Olympics. We like to look at it as a New Season, New Attitude, New Legs, and a Winning Mood!! Thanks for all your support. We wouldn’t be able to push ourselves day after day if we didn’t know you were rooting for us. Thanks for being a part of our journey and our Olympic dream. Have a great summer.
-Tracy & Lanny