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Lanny Barnes, U.S. Biathlete



Lanny Barnes, U.S. Biathlete
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.32

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bittersweet, outshoot, aerobic, greatly, mononucleosis, better, enrolled, slim, element, teaching, Biathletes, penalty, resume, fell, success, addition
     content words:    United States, Lanny Barnes, Winter Olympics, While Lanny, If Lanny


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Lanny Barnes, U.S. Biathlete
By Beth Beutler
  

1     The United States has never won a gold medal in the Olympic sport of biathlon, but Lanny Barnes hopes to change that when she heads to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Lanny and her identical twin sister Tracy share a love for the sport and the many experiences that surround it, except perhaps when they both suffered with mononucleosis at the same time during the 2006 Olympic season! Even so, they still competed in their events. For 2010, however, Tracy will have to be a fan, cheering her sister. While Lanny made the team, Tracy narrowly missed clinching a spot.
 
2     Lanny will be competing in a sport that combines the aerobic activity of cross-country skiing with the skill of rifle shooting. Biathletes have to be in great shape for speed, yet have great muscle control for shooting. They will ski through a course and arrive at a variety of shooting destinations. Then, each competitor will have five attempts to shoot at a target before skiing to the next one. By hitting the targets, Lanny will avoid either having one minute per missed target added to her overall time for completing the course or having to ski a penalty lap.
 
3     Tracy and Lanny live in Durango, Colorado, where they were born. It was a natural fit for them to spend a lot of time outdoors, and they both became excited about soccer, starting to play at age 8 and continuing into high school. Their father started teaching them to shoot when they were young, and they began to enter competitions. It was at one of these events that they were told about biathlon. They soon enrolled to learn how to cross-country ski, hoping it would help them stay in good shape for soccer. The girls used to dream of playing soccer competitively, but they fell in love with biathlon instead. As for how shooting fits in with the sport, Lanny says, "Most people in this sport were great skiers first and learned to shoot later, but we were shooters who learned to ski."

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