Peggy (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.
World Class: The Making of the U.S. Women’s Cross-Country Ski Team is her second book. Her first book, Deluge, chronicled Tropical Storm Irene, flash floods in Vermont, and how the state saved itself.
She is a senior contributor for TeamUSA.org — the U.S. Olympic Committee’s website — and has been lucky enough to cover four Olympic Games. Her writing has also been published in Ski Racing, Skiing, SKI, SNOW, 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.
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 no remaining cats.