About

Peggy low res headshot 2013Peggy (McKay) Shinn was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and raised in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, where she learned to ski, ride her bike in the woods, eat asparagus and strawberries from her dad’s organic garden, and occasionally read a book.

Deluge: Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont’s Flash Floods, and How One Small State Saved Itself is her first book. Her writing has also been published in Skiing, SKI, Ski Racing, Ski Press, MSNBC.com, and Vermont Life, as well as the Boston Globe, Rutland Herald, and Burlington Free Press. For her work in ski writing, she is a four-time winner of the Harold Hirsch Award for best feature writing, presented annually by the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

Most of her recent work is published on the U.S. Olympic Committee’s website,  TeamUSA.org, and she has been lucky enough to cover three Olympic Games.

Before finding her true vocation, Peggy attended Phillips Exeter Academy, then Amherst College, where she competed in Varsity crew and alpine skiing and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in geology. Two days after graduation, she packed her car and drove to Colorado where she completed two masters degrees and raced her bicycle. She competed in such suffer-fests as the Leadville 100, 24 Hours of Moab, and Ore-Ida Women’s Challenge; climbed most of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks; and earned a Master of Arts in Teaching at Colorado College and a Master of Science in Environmental Science & Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. She taught earth science and sex ed to middle schoolers, learned how to treat hazardous waste and improve drinking water, and realized that she had no interest in pursuing either career longterm.

She moved back to Vermont in 1997 and now lives in Rutland with her husband, daughter, and one remaining cat.

One response to “About

  1. Greg May

    Hi Peggy – Thank you for your excellent piece on the 50th Anniversary of Billy Mills’ 10,000 m. gold medal. What an epic run that was, the only men’s 10,000 m. gold before or since, and it bettered Mills’ personal best by 46 seconds. I especially enjoyed your anecdote about Mills raising gerry Lindgren’s arm in that one race, and it’s effect. Fifty years ago this fall, Hillary Clinton and I helped open the brand new Maine South High School, on Chicago’s northwest side. She was a senior and I a sophomore. That’s true. We dated quite a bit but I had to let her go because she was so immature. That’s not true.

    I still have the audiotape I made of the 30 minute NBC sports highlights of those Tokyo summer games. USA gold medal winners included Fred Hansen, pole vault; Bob Hayes, 100 m. dash; and Don Schollander and Donna de Varona in swimming. Bob Schul also won gold in the men’s 5,000 m., which no American has accomplished before or since.

    And then there was Bud Palmer. He was the announcer for Mills’ and Schul’s races and, in the Mills race, provided us viewers with one of the greatest sports broadcast moments ever. You’ve heard and seen the last lap on You Tube video and how the dramatic injection of Dick Bank’s “Look at Mills, Look at Mills” during Bud’s call at the finish made sports history. I sought out Bud Palmer in 1991 at President Ford’s golf tournament in Vail, CO to ask about that race. I had listened to my tape many times and it was embedded in my psyche. We had a nice chat and he indicated the Banl’s eruption was a challenge, but he was able to pull it off. He said it was the highlight of his broadcasting career.

    Oh, and Peggy, Bud Palmer, like you, was an Exeter grad. He then went on to Princeton, World War II, the N.B.A., and to his broadcasting career. I had a t-shirt made up of the Mills photo breaking the tape in the 10,000 m. with Palmer’s words; “What a tremendous surprise here, Bill Mills of the United States wins the 10,000 meter.” I sent one to Bud’s daughter in Minnesota for the 50th.

    We have some geography in common. My mother was born in Gorham, NH. I am a proud 1972 graduate of Norwich University, in Northfield, VT, up the street from your Rutland. I spent a delightful weekend in the summer of 1969 at my Norwich classmate Ed McNamara’s family cottage on Lake Bomoseen. And, finally, my wife and I watched your Masters’ alma mater, Colorado School of Mines, better Western New Mexico last Saturday tin the perfect, mile high Colorado sunshine. Sophomore Justin Dvorak filled the atmosphere with oblong spheroids! We live in Lakewood, next town back from Golden.

    Looks like peak fall color in Rutland today. My last visit back there was in September of 2006 for a Norwich reunion. A highlight was discovering the historic, ornate headstones in the Kibling Cemetery, just south of Strafford, VT. Perhaps there is a freelance story for you there? My next visit will be on Saturday, September 9, 2017 to the norwich campus to commemorate 50 years to the minute of the start of my Norwich years.

    Thank you again, Peggy, for a superb retrospevctive on Billy Mills stellar performance, and continued fine writing to you.

    Sincerely,

    Greg May
    Structural Engineer
    Lakewood, CO

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