News you can use

Twin Olympic biathletes talk to Havre youth

When twin sisters Tracy and Lanny Barnes were young, they followed in their father's footsteps.

"He was a hunter and he was a shooter," said Tracy, one of the twin biathletes who visited Havre over the weekend.

So they started shooting when they were very young in their hometown of Durango, Colo.

"We did all the things we were supposed to do when we were shooting," said Lanny. "But in between, we would be full of energy and we did all the things we weren't supposed to do."

So a friend suggested that the full-of-energy twins should become biathletes.

"He told us we should be runners and gunners," Lanny said.

That suggestion brought the twins on a fascinating trip to the Olympics. They are preparing for the World Games and the 2014 Winter Olympics that will be held in Russia.

"We are going to take home a medal," they said, almost in unison.

The twins were in Havre over the weekend, spreading their message of optimism and determination to the area's young people.

They spent time in Chinook Thursday, and were at the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line and Havre High School Friday, talking to student athletes.

They were impressed with the young people they talked to, and were optimistic that their message got through.

They said they told the students of their determination to get to the Olympics despite setbacks along the way.

"It's important for kids to realize that they can make it," Lanny said. "If they set out, they can reach their dreams be it getting to the Olympics, becoming a doctors or just being happy at life."

The twins were in Havre, the guest of Rennell Braaten, owner of Enell, Inc., which manufactures sports bras for athletes.

"We use Rennell's products and we are very happy with them," said Lanny.

The twins said they love talking to young people and getting the message across, and Havre's young people seemed especially receptive.

In general, Tracy said, people from smaller towns are open to their ideas.

"We're from a small town, and we can relates," Lannie said.

Durango once was roughly Havre's side, they said, though it has grown rapidly in recent years.

The women strongly defended shooting as a great sport for young people.

They spoke to a reporter while they were visiting the Bear Paw Junior Rifle Club Saturday at Havre City Hall. They have seen an increase in interest among young people.

"We tell them what we were told when we were young," she said. "We emphasize fun and safety," said Lanny.

"And always safety first," Tracy added.


Reader Comments(0)