September 22, 2023

Olympic athlete and student makes noble sacrifice

Today, I had the privilege of speaking with Tracy Barnes, who is an Olympic biathlon athlete and a Columbia Southern University student.

She is all over the news lately regarding a selfless act.

She and her twin sister are both in this sport and have been training to make the 2014 Olympic team.   Unfortunately, Tracy made the team, but her sister did not.  Her sister was sick during this last year and was not able to compete in all of the races and, therefore, did not make the team.  So Tracy gave up her spot on the team for her sister earlier this week.

Tracy said she felt if her sister would not have been sick, she would have made the team.  She knew this was the right thing to do.  My heart went out to her knowing that she worked so hard for this spot. To give it to her sister so she can fulfill the dream for both of them shows what an incredible relationship they have.

Over last two years, CSU staff have enjoyed working with Tracy in various conferences across the nation.  We have supported her and watched her grow in her education with CSU and as she went forward with her goal of being an Olympic champion.

She is very close to completing her bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in marketing. She mentioned to me that she felt CSU was the perfect fit for her since she has been traveling so much to train for her sport. Our online program allows her to fit education into her already busy life. In fact, the degree is helping prepare to launch a business next year.

I have to say, Tracy is a perfect example of a CSU student.  Our faculty and staff work hard to help our students meet their goals through education. While students work to make time and place for study, yet still maintaining their career and hectic life.

I want to applaud Tracy along with all our faculty and staff for a job well done!  We are very impressed by all her accomplishments as a CSU student.  We hope to see her at our next graduation in October.

Tracy, you can and you will succeed and we are all proud of you!