Nightly News   |  January 15, 2014

Twin Offers Sister Coveted Spot on Olympic Team

Identical twins Lanny and Tracy Barnes both made the Olympic team back in 2006. But this time around, Lanny got sick and her Sochi prospects dimmed -- until, that is, her sister Tracy stepped in.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> and finally tonight, as we round the corner toward the winter olympic games with just a few weeks until the competition begins in sochi , in russia, the teams are getting set, travel plans are being made for the athletes who make the cut. it turns out one of those athletes made the american team in a most unusual way. and it is a true example of what we call the olympic spirit . our story tonight from our nbc's christi chris jansing .

>> reporter: the dream was the same for both of them, to compete. they both made the team back in 2006 .

>> we both made the team, we're definitely glad that both of us or here.

>> reporter: now, eight years later, tracy was facing exactly that dilemma, what if just one sister could go to sochi . at the qualifiers, she lost her spot and thought her chances were over. by tracy had other ideas, deciding lanny would go to sochi , instead.

>> she is my best friend, she deserves to go, she is having a great year. and i think when you care enough about someone you're willing to make that sacrifice, even if it means giving your dream so they can recognize theirs.

>> reporter: it was an inspiring act of selflessness.

>> this is really partially a love story between two sisters.

>> reporter: for 32 years, they have been nearly inseparable, fierce competitors who leave their rivalry on the course. by phone, we called lanny, she got emotional telling her story.

>> it was one of those moments that i think changed my life forever. and you know, i don't know how or where you begin to thank someone for something like that. she basically gave me a second chance.

>> reporter: tracy is asking fans for just one thing in return? to cheer for her sister.

>> be behind her, she will do great things, it will be exciting.

>> reporter: she certainly will, chris jansing , nbc, new york.