Sunday (3/27/2011)Tracy beat the very best biathletes in the world in the shootout of biathlon’s premier event, the “Veltins World Team Challenge” at Schalke, Germany. Tracy grabbed top honors in the coveted Shootout event, which is a shooting competition that tests the 20 top biathletes in the world. In this invitation-only event, 10 women compete head-to-head during a four stage shooting event which is the same format as that used in a regular biathlon race (two prone, two standing). The top three ladies from this preliminary round face off with the top three men from their first round to see who is the best shooter in the final round of competition. Tracy came in 1st for the women’s round AND 1st in the final competition with the four best women and four best men!!! This was an exciting competition for the athletes and the 50,000+ spectators at the Veltins Soccer Stadium as it was the first time that laser-rifles replaced the traditional 22-caliber rifle. The athletes received their laser-guns on Saturday and had only one day to practice before the World Team Challenge. Tracy and her US teammate Tim Burke finished 9th in the pairs mass start and 10th in the pursuit race held the same day. Tracy’s personal support team (her husband Gary and her Dad) accompanied her to Germany for this wonderful biathlon event.
Her sister Lanny flew out to Mammoth Lakes, California on friday to help with biathlon clinics for several hundred new biathletes ages 10+ and competed in a race at a new biathlon course in Mammoth Lakes on Sunday. Due to the town receiving close to 10ft of snow during the week, flights were canceled and Lanny wasn't able to make it in for the clinic. She helped with the kids, adults, wounded warrior, and disabled skier biathlon race on Saturday and competed in an elite race on Sunday. She won the race on Sunday that was filmed by Versus and Outdoor Channel and American Trigger Sports Network. Mammoth Lakes is on their way to becoming the most premier high altitude biathlon venues in the country. With over 200+ volunteers that dug out the range buried by mountains of snow, they put on one of the most professional and exciting biathlon event seen in the US!
The twins ended their seasons after those two events and will now take a two week break before starting up their training again for the 2011/2012 season. With three short years until the next Winter Oympics, the twin will be training hard to make sure they are ready to bring home the gold in Sochi, Russia in 2014!
Check out their website for more stories, pictures and updates- www.twinbiathletes.com. They are gearing up to launch a new website! Check back within the next few weeks to see their new look.
-Tracy & Lanny Barnes
US Biathlon Team