There are not many heroes out there anymore…but this is one of them

Tracey Barnes
Giving up a spot in the Games
What would it feel like to have a spot on the 2014 U.S. Olympic team and then, selflessly, give it up?

It would be easy.

“Love,” Tracy Barnes said of giving up her spot on the U.S. biathlon team to her twin sister, Lanny, “is selfless dedication.

“Love means giving up your dream so someone else can realize theirs.”

Tracy (left) and Lanny Barnes at a biathlon event in Vancouver // photo courtesy US Biathlon/Nordic Focus
Understand the numbers. The U.S. Census population estimate for the start of 2014: just over 317 million. The U.S. women’s biathlon team that goes to Sochi in just a few weeks: five. Essentially, by the time it got down to Sunday’s final qualifying race, there was one spot up for grabs. One in 317 million. For comparison, your chance of winning the lottery on a single ticket is one in 175 million.

Really, Tracy Barnes said. It was easy.

“If I were to sum up the decision,” she reiterated, “it’s not hard to make a decision like that when you care about someone. Anyone who cares about someone can relate to making a sacrifice for someone they care for.”

Tracy and Lanny Barnes are 31 years old. This is, probably, their last best chance at the Olympic Games.

Biathlon is the ski-and-shoot combination. The United States has never won an Olympic medal in the sport. Many observers believe 2014 could well be the breakthrough year.

The twins are from Durango, Colorado. Their dad, Thad, is a contractor; mom, Deborah, was a long-time schoolteacher; older sister, Christie, who lives now in Burlington, Vermont, is on her way to becoming an ENT surgeon and, Tracy said, is “a big inspiration to us.”

Tracy is the younger of the twins by five minutes. Even so, she said, “Most people think I am the older one because I take on that role. I like to take care of her,” adding a moment later, “I think I have always taken on that motherly role. She would roll her eyes. I have always looked out for her in whatever way I can, the way an older sister or sibling would do. Just take on that role. I do what I can for her.”

The sisters didn’t get on skis, or even think about combining shooting and skiing, until they met a US Biathlon coach at a local competition.

When they were 18, they made their first junior world championship team. Two years later, Lanny medaled at the 2003 junior worlds.

Both made the 2006 Torino Games. At the time, they were 23. Lanny finished 64th in the 15-kilometer event, Tracy 57th. Tracy also came home 71st in the 7.5km sprint; the twins were part of the 15th-place U.S. finish in the 4x6km relay.

Tracy said: “We were so young and inexperienced. You always want to follow up with another Olympics. Your first one — just so you can have that first one under your belt so you’re not so green. There’s more to the Olympics than just going and competing. I think that’s a big part of it for me.”

In 2010 in Vancouver, Tracy did not qualify. Only Lanny. Her best individual finish: 23rd in the 15k.

As the Olympic qualifying season unfolded, two of the five spots on the Sochi 2014 team were locked up early, dictated by results on tour. They went to Susan Dunklee of Barton, Vermont, and Annelies Cook of Saranac Lake, New York.

Then Sara Studebaker of Boise, Idaho — like Lanny, a 2010 Olympian — and Hannah Dreissigacker of Morrrisville, Vermont, earned their spots.

Dreissigacker clinched her spot with 18-for-20 shooting, and a 10th-place finish, at an IBU Cup event Saturday in Ridnaun, Italy. She and Dunklee grew up skiing together in northern Vermont.

Thus it came down to Sunday’s racing, at that same IBU Cup in Italy.

Sunday’s race: a 7.5k sprint.

Tracy Barnes finished 10th. She shot clean — no penalties.

That clinched it for the committee, which by rule had a discretionary spot — Tracy Barnes was not just the U.S. athlete with the next-best record over the qualifying period, she seemed to be peaking, and just in time for the Games.

But — wait.

Before that race, Tracy had already made her decision.

During the final four team-selection races, Lanny had been sick, unable to compete in all but one.

Tracy knew the rules, her status and her sister’s, too — if she turned down the spot, Tracy knew Lanny had the next-best record over the entire qualifying period and thus would be the athlete the committee was all but sure to turn to.

“For me, this decision was pretty easy,” she said again.

“It’s a pretty heavy situation, I guess,” she said with a laugh. “I have been through a fair number of Olympic Trials in my career. I know they’re pretty brutal emotionally. I know there can be a chance where bad luck can on the side of an athlete. Just having watched Lanny through this week and how she even tried to race one race sick, that never works, even — especially — at the level we are trying to race at.

“I have trained with her almost every day now, almost half our life, 15 years now. I have seen her dedication. So I could definitely see she deserves to be on the team.”

After Sunday’s racing was over, the two sisters went for a walk — actually more of a hike up into the mountains.

“I told her,” Tracy said, “I had something to tell her.”

She added, “Of course she protested.”

There were tears. A lot. On both sides.

“I told her,” Tracy said, “I had been inspired by her performances this year and I really think she is on a great path and I really want to see how far she can go.”

From high in the Italian mountains, Tracy then called Max Cobb, the president and chief executive of US Biathlon, at his home in Vermont. He ended up having to call her back from a landline. The cell reception was scratchy. Even so, he understood.

“It’s a remarkable thing, even for a sister — even for a twin sister — to be selfless enough to understand that another athlete would have a better opportunity to perform at the Games,” he said, “and give that away.”

He called it “one of the most inspiring gesture of sportsmanship I have ever seen. It is exactly what you hope Olympic sport inspires,” adding, “To see Tracy do this for Lanny speaks volumes about their character and what it means to represent the United States at the Olympics.”

“I can’t even begin to describe,” Lanny Barnes said, “what it means to me that Tracy made such a huge sacrifice for me.

“It’s hard to put into words what she did and what it means to me.”

She added a moment later, “Often times during the hype of the Games we forget what the Olympics are really about. They aren’t about the medals and the fame and all of that. The Olympics are about inspiration, teamwork, excellence and representation. I can think of no better example of the true Olympic spirit than what Tracy did this past weekend. It took a lot of courage and sacrifice to make such a powerful decision.”

She also said, “It’s not every day that you are given a second chance like this. I thought my chance at the Olympics was over. But now I’ve got a second chance and will do everything I can to bring honor to her,” meaning Tracy, “ and our country in Russia.”

Cyclocross Series Finals at FLC Saturday

Come on out and get your cross on. 10am for the Women, B Men and 50+. 11am for the A Men and 35+. Also make sure to check out the series party at 6pm at the Irish Embassy after the race.

Devo Joins Red Ball Express

Devo Families,

This year Devo will be one of the beneficiaries at the annual Red Ball Express Fundraiser put on by United Way and the Durango International Rotary Club.

We will be selling tickets in front of Steaming Bean for Noel Night Friday, December 6th from 4 till 8. Please stop by and help support Devo.

75% of the tickets we sell go straight to Devo and will fund:

Coaches training
Purchase of equipment

This fundraiser will be a great success if each family/athlete could sell 5 tickets. In addition to funding Devo, other non-profits and the United Way people who buy tickets have a chance to win $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000 at DMR Feb. 8th.

For more information about the Red Ball Express visit:

You can pick up tickets at Durango Cyclery during business hours from now until mid January. It would be great if anyone can pick up tickets for other Devo families since reaching people in the off-season can be difficult.

Thank You,

Amy Haggart

Important information about the Red Ball Express:

Each ticket has a unique tracking number on it. When you sell a ticket, have the buyer fill out the right side of the ticket with name, contact information, etc (or you can fill it out for him/her). We need the contact information in order to identify the winner. Be sure to give the buyer the LEFT side of the ticket to keep. If we receive the wrong side of the ticket, it will not be entered into the contest.

You should keep the RIGHT side of each ticket, and get them to Amy Haggart at the Devo office by Jan. 30th. If you do not return the stubs to us, those tickets will not be entered into the contest.

All of the information on how to sell and fill out the Red Ball Tickets will come with the packet you will pick up.

Copyright © 2013 Durango Devo, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are involved or interested in Durango Devo

Our mailing address is:
Durango Devo
10 town plaza #110
Durango, CO 81301

Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Registration Opens Today

Registration for the 2014 Iron Horse Bicycle Classic opens TOMORROW, December 3, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. The event will be held Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-26, 2014. We have updated the website – – and we are excited to get things rolling for a great weekend of riding and racing in Durango. All the great events are back, (with a few changes): The Citizens Tour presented by McDonald’s, Durango to Silverton Road Race presented by Coca Cola, Quarter Horse to Purgatory, Sunday Downtown Events presented by Morehart-Murphy, East Animas Time Trial powered by BP, Cross Country Race presented by Mountain Bike Specialists, Kids Races fueled by SPRITE, and the Alpine Bank Push Bike Park. Whew, that’s a lot!!

Highlights and changes for the 2014 event. Complete information can be found at the event website – please review the below and the website.

Online registrations are provided by iamATHLETE – a great new partner for the event. A link to online registration is available through the event website.
The Citizen’s Tour presented by McDonalds will be a timed event, again in 2014. An increase in the field limit for 2014 – 2600 riders!
The original – Durango to Silverton Road Race presented by Coca Cola is limited to the first 200 racers – and ONLY two categories available – A Men and A Women
NEW – Sunday’s Downtown Events presented by Morehart-Murphy include a few new activities – a Veteran Team Relay Challenge, a cyclocross criterium and the favorites – expanded Kids Races fueled by SPRITE and competitive crits for men and women, and the popular (and fun) the Cruzer Crit.
For those climbers in the group – we have created the Mountain Horse Tour. You will start at Durango Mountain Resort @ 10:00 a.m. and finish in Silverton – this shortens the traditional ride – but is the hardest and most satisfying part!

We have greatly expanded the commemorative official event merchandise for 2014, from riding gear to casual wear for men and women, we are also offering kids T’s with a cool new train logo. Stock up, we will ship it to you well in advance of the event.

Again, registration opens tomorrow, December 3, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. Check out the website for complete details and register early and do not miss out on the fun in Durango!

We hope to see you in 2014!


Jeffery Frost, Director
Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

WOW group rocks Phil’s World

Devo mom’s and local women have been riding for the past 8 weeks with Amy Wantulok and Sage Anderson and tested their sick skills at Phil’s World!!!
photo 1-3

Devo Halloween ride postponed until tomorrow

Due to weather, we will have our Halloween ride tomorrow but shorten it a bit so everyone get get to their Halloween parties, trick or treating, etc:

Meet Thursday Oct 31st at 4 pm at Buckley in costume for a parade down main to bike path and candy/story at Rotary Park.

Back at Buckley by 5 pm!!!


A Cycling Celebration Invite from Mountain Bike Specialists

Dear Friends,

Durango’s cycling community has some new World Champions, National Champions, and State Champions.  I hope you can join us to celebrate their successes.  Several individuals as well as the FLC College team, the Sweet Elite team and the High School Teams have successes worthy of a party.  MBS, Steamworks, Bread and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory invite you recognize your friends on October 30th at MBS from 5:30p.m. to 7:30p.m.


Devo Halloween Ride is Weds Oct 30th 4 pm (not the 31st!!)

Meet at Buckley in costume for our annual Halloween ride. Parents welcome, parents with kids 3rd grade and younger required! Costumes..of course, but not mandatory. We’ll ride to cemetary for our spooky Mr Sloan’s story and some candy.
halloween ride

FLC’s Fall Blaze is this Saturday

It has been a wet September so far but we are not flooded out! The weather is looking clear (but a bit chilly in the morning) for Saturday’s Blaze.

Online registration for the Blaze closes Thursday, September 26, 2013 @ 11:59 PM PST. If you just want to do walk up registration Friday afternoon or Saturday morning there will still be spots available – it’ll be $10 more for a total of $79.

Friday’s packet pickup will be from 4-7pm up at the Clocktower on the Fort Lewis College Campus. The website says 3-6pm but we have changed it to better fit folks schedules. You can also pick up your packet or register Saturday morning from 6:30-7:30am

We are very proud to announce that Mountain Bike Specialists and 2nd Ave. Sports have come onboard to host Aid Stations #1 and #3 respectively. Riders, be sure and thank them for supporting the Blaze when you see them.

The USA Pro Challenge has once joined forces with the Blaze by offering up an amazing VIP package for the final stage of the 2014 USPC! There will be a silent auction at packet pickup on Friday and Saturday so be sure to put your bid in. Package details below.

You can get it all done here:

See You this Weekend,
Dave and Carolyn Hagen