U.S. biathlete Lanny Barnes is going to her fourth Olympic Winter Games — but this time as an artist.
Barnes is one of four Olympians who have been invited to PyeongChang as Olympic artists in residence to participate in the “Olympic Art Project” developed by the International Olympic Committee.
All four of the artists are also athletes who have competed in a total of seven Olympic Games. The goal of the initiative, which was adopted as part of the IOC’s “Agenda 2020” roadmap for the Olympic Movement, is to bring the Olympic values to life through art by working with athletes in the Olympic Village.
Barnes, who competed in biathlon at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Winter Games, is joined in the program by javelin thrower Roald Bradstock (Great Britain), fencer Jean-Blaise Evéquoz (Switzerland) and distance runner Alexi Pappas (Greece).
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Barnes has been a professional artist since 2000, specializing in wildlife art created with charcoal. In PyeongChang, Barnes will be working with Bradstock and Evéquoz to guide the creation of 15 paintings, at a rate of one per day, all done using just a brush and paint. The paintings will each represent one of the Olympic winter sport disciplines. They will be worked on by a variety of athletes and displayed in Gangneung Olympic Village. Once completed, the paintings will make one larger piece.
This will not be the first time Barnes is in the spotlight at the Olympics. The biathlete garnered attention when her twin sister, Tracy, gave Lanny her spot at the 2014 Games. Lanny had missed out on the Olympics due to being sick during the trials. When 2006 Olympian Tracy made the team, however, she gave her spot to her sister. As a result of her actions, Tracy was given the United Nations’ International Fair Play award and the United States Olympic Committee’s Inspiration Award.
Alaina Getzenberg is a freelance journalist based in New York City. She is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.