Olympic biathlete Tracy Barnes is the new senior director of development at USA Shooting. Below are a few excerpts from my conversation with her this past April at the 2023 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Indianapolis, Ind.
In her new role at USA Shooting, Barnes will be working on strategy and general fundraising efforts. She will also be involved with the USA Shooting Team Foundation Board and collaborative efforts for gift giving. Her work will help build organizational capability to support all USA Shooting athletes, as the Paris 2024 Olympic Games come closer into view.
“I’m handling programs, partnerships and fundraising for USA Shooting,” Barnes said. “While I’m new to USA Shooting, I’m not new to the Olympic movement. My twin sister, Lanny, and I competed in the Olympics for biathlon for more than 20 years. So I’m familiar with that side of the Olympic sport movement, and now it feels like I’m coming back to my roots, since I started in smallbore prone competitions when I was very young. That’s actually how I started my shooting career, and then got into biathlon. Now, I’ve come full circle, and I’m really excited (and inspired) to help our next generation of athletes.”
One way USA Shooting seeks to support the team is via member support. “We’re looking to provide a lot of value for our members,” Barnes said. “By becoming a USA Shooting member, you’re directly supporting the team, and funding and support goes to help athletes—from the youth level all the way up to Olympians.”
One obstacle USA Shooting and the athletes face is the fact that many other countries have government-funded teams. “We’re seeing some of these countries really putting a lot of funds behind their athletes,” Barnes said. “These other countries are really starting to raise the bar and that definitely makes things more competitive, which is great. But, it’s going to be tough to stay on top, and that’s ultimately our goal, which we feel we’re going to do.”
Additionally, Olympic shooting events are becoming increasingly tough because there are more competitors out there. “There are more than 150 countries competing in shooting sports, so the competition is fierce—but we have one of the strongest Olympic teams in the world,” Barnes said.
Learn more about USA Shooting at usashooting.org.