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, and eat asparagus and strawberries from her dad’s organic garden.

World Class: The Making of the U.S. Women’s Cross-Country Ski Team is her second book. It has received the International Skiing History Association’s 2018 Ullr Award and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association’s 2018 Harold S. Hirsch Award. 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 and has covered five Olympic Games. She has also contributed to 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 S. Award for best feature writing, presented annually by NASJA.

Peggy attended Phillips Exeter Academy, then Amherst College, where she competed in Varsity crew and alpine skiing and graduated with a B.A. in geology. She then moved out West, 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 an M.S. in Environmental Science & Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. She taught earth science and sex ed to middle schoolers, learned how to treat drinking water and hazardous waste, 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.

4 responses 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.


    Greg May
    Structural Engineer
    Lakewood, CO

    • Robert Gerlin

      Today (June23) I started World Class, a signed copy given to me by my Shelburne,Vermont, daughter for fathers day, and already believe that it is going to be a great read. I decided to learn more about the author, the book itself is totally sparse in that regard, which is too bad, she has a biography that makes the the book even more interesting. I learned that she up grew in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, still a remarkable backwater, graduated from Exeter where I now have a grandson, and Amherst, now lives in Rutland, is the holder of two remarkable graduate degrees, and taught sex and science to middle schoolers. It does not say which subject they liked best. Move over Boys in the Boat.

      Bob Gerlin
      Cornwall, Vermont

  2. Pingback: Feature Interview with Peggy Shinn – Zethan's Blog

  3. Naomi Mayer

    Peggy- I’d like to contact you. I’m a Floridian who spent summers in Killington. My late husband and I were stranded there for a while after Irene before they opened the roads. You might enjoy reading an article from the Palm Beach Post which described our predicament.

    I’m 84 so I empathized with your parent’s situation.

    My friends consider me to be a techie but often I am stymied by technology.

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