Good News Friday: An Olympian trades her spot in Sochi to her sister. A man dances across the world, joyously. And the Seahawks’ deaf player inspires more


I am trying to accomplish a near-impossible sports fan feat today: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played in the Australian Open semifinals in the wee hours of Friday morning. Because I’m teaching today, I’m DVR’ing the match, and trying to avoid all sports-related sites and news until I get home at 3:30 to watch the match. I’ve tried things like this before and they never, ever work; I always accidentally hear who won or someone tells me. Wish me luck.

OK, you may have already heard this story by now; it’s already become my favorite story of the Winter Olympics, and I doubt it’ll be surpassed.

Twin 32-year-old sisters Tracy and Lanny Barnes are both former U.S. Olympic biathlon competitors, with both making the 2006 team and Lanny also qualifying in 2010.

Both were competing for spots in this year’s games at the last qualifying meet about 10 days ago, but Lanny became very ill during the competition and didn’t qualify to go to Sochi.

Tracy did qualify, and she seemed set to go to her second Olympics. But shortly after the meet, Tracy took a walk with Lanny and told her something amazing: Tracy was relinquishing her spot on the team, and wanted Lanny to take her place. (Lanny had finished just behind Tracy in qualifying).

In an email to the AP, Tracy Barnes said the decision wasn’t difficult because she believed in her heart that her sister deserved a spot on the team and that desire outweighed her own wish to join the Olympic team.

“If you care enough about a person you will make any sacrifice for them. Even if it means giving up your dreams so that they can realize theirs,” Tracy said.

Love that quote. What a beautiful gesture from sister to sister. Tracy had to know that her chances of making another Olympics will be difficult, and she absolutely deserved to go compete herself.

But she sacrificed so her sister could live her dream one more time.

“I can’t even begin to describe what it means to me that Tracy made such a huge sacrifice for me,” Lanny Barnes said. “We have been training together every day for the past 15 years and I know how hard she has worked to make this team.”

A beautiful story of sisterly love. Really hope Lanny wins a medal in Sochi.

**Next up, let me introduce you to Jake Gaba, who over the course of 100 days last year decided to dance his way across China, almost literally.

With the soundtrack to Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” playing, Jake enlists all locals he encounters in a joyous celebration of life and music.

Sure, maybe he’s crazy. But crazy in a good way, I think.


**And finally today, remember last week when I told you about that awesome commercial for Duracell starring Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman?

Well, lots of folks have been inspired by Coleman, including Riley and Erin Kovalcik, identical 9-year-old twin sisters from New Jersey, who are also hearing impaired. The wrote Coleman a letter (above) expressing sympathy for him, in a delightfully cute way.

Wait, it gets better:  Coleman got the letter and wrote them back, equally beautifully, thanking them for their support.

So awesome. Derrick Coleman is the anti-Richard Sherman. Go Seahawks.

2 responses to “Good News Friday: An Olympian trades her spot in Sochi to her sister. A man dances across the world, joyously. And the Seahawks’ deaf player inspires more

  1. Don’t you think the sister should have politely declined the offer?

  2. Nice story on Coleman. I would like to thing that Sherman would do the same thing when he is not so hyped up

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