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Tracy & Lanny Barnes (Twins)

UNITED STATES OLYMPIC BIATHLETE


Durango, CO

Who or what got you into shooting?
Our dad had three daughters and a love for hunting and the outdoors. He taught us all how to shoot and hunt at a very young age. My twin sister and I went on to shoot small bore prone competitively before discovering biathlon (cross country skiing and rifle marksmanship). Once we started biathlon we quickly jumped to the world stage and have been competing on the World Cup circuit for over 10 years. I (Lanny) competed in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics, and Tracy competed in the 2006 and was an alternate in 2010. I (Lanny) posted the best United States finish in 16 years in 2010 with perfect shooting, and we both hope to make history by becoming the first to medal in the United States for biathlon in the Olympics. Besides hunting, we are getting into 3-gun, Sportsman’s Team Challenge, and pistol shooting.

First or favorite gun?
Our custom competition biathlon rifles!

What is your favorite gun accessory? Why?
Our water bottle holders. We train almost everyday, twice a day, all year, and are spending a majority of that time outside in the woods or running through neighborhoods. We conceal carry in our water bottle holders for protection. With the amount of time we spend in the mountains of Colorado and the encounters we've had with mountain lions, bears, etc…we are working on making sure we don't become a statistic.

Favorite place to shoot or hunt?
Favorite place to hunt is for elk in the San Juan Mountains outside Durango. Favorite place to shoot is at the World Cup Biathlon venue in Antholz, Italy. It's the most beautiful backdrop I've ever seen.

Favorite shooting/hunting apparel?
Prois Hunting apparel. Wouldn't go in the woods with out it.

Favorite shooting/hunting partner?
Each other and our dad! Although we would never pass up an opportunity to shoot with Kay Michulek, she rocks!

Best shooting/hunting memory?
Taking one of our female biathlon teammates out hunting for the first time a few years ago. She was so nervous and shaking like crazy and we were just hunting grouse. After shooting her first three birds, her nerves died down a bit and she stopped shaking. We will never forget the look on her face when she shot her first grouse; she was so excited. She is now an avid hunter and owns several guns besides her biathlon rifle.

I own a gun because:
I own a gun because I feel I am making a difference and inspiring people to follow their dreams through my use of a firearm and my goal of winning an Olympic gold medal. I also own a gun because my family relies on our hunting to put meat on the table. Firearms also help protect my family and me and have given me more confidence as a woman. It is also my right and privilege to own a firearm.

How do you feel about pink guns?
Blue is actually my favorite color, but as long as the color doesn't get in the way of the function, I don't care what color it is. I do feel that so many gun companies think that the manufacturing of women's firearms is done by taking a gun designed to fit in a man's hands and paint it pink. I'd like to see a woman (or a man if possible) design a firearm that actually fits the small hands and small frame of most women and not just slap the color pink on it and call it a women's gun. 

Do you go to the range to amp up or chill out?
Both, when I go to the range it helps me to amp up for my competitions, as well as helps me to let off a little steam.

Best gun tip?
Go to a Babes with Bullets camp. It’s the most inspiring shooting camp I've ever been to.

Your choice of gun for protection?
Sig Sauer P220

Guns or shoes?
Guns! If I had to I could run barefoot, but the best shoes in the world aren't going to protect me from all the dangers out there, and there are no shoe throwing competitions in the Olympics.

Who or what inspires you?
My twin sister inspires me! Kay Michulek is the modern day Annie Oakley. Also, showing me that women can shoot just as good if not better is a huge inspiration to us.

Favorite TV Show?
NCIS

Favorite sports team?
United States Women's National Soccer Team

My theme song is:
The national anthem, it makes me cry every time I hear it!

Favorite vacation spot?
Northern Italy

Your greatest accomplishment?
Two-time Olympian in biathlon (only shooting sport in the Winter Olympics.)