Penny McCoy Barrett
Hall of Fame Class of 1978
Penny McCoy is a member of the famous McCoy skiing family of Mammoth Mountain. Her ski racing career started at the age of six and took her all the way to the podium at the F.I.S. World Championships.
Born as the first daughter of Roma and Dave McCoy of Mammoth Mountain fame, Penny began skiing at the age of 4 and racing at the age of 6. Her ski development took place along the same course as Mammoth’s previous United States women ski stars such as Jill Kinmont, Linda Meyers, Joan Hannah and Jean Saubert. Being a U.S. Ski Team member was simply one of the things that Penny would do.
Penny became serious about ski racing at the age of 12 and the following winter went to her first Junior National Championships at Jackson, Wyoming where she finished fifth in the slalom and twelfth in the downhill. The following summer she was selected to train with the National Women’s Team in Bend, Oregon. In 1964 Penny won the American Legion Junior Women’s Slalom and Combined Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Penny was selected to the National Team for the first time in 1965-66, enjoying success in the spring of 1966 when she won the World Cup Slalom event at Heavenly Valley.
Penny recalls, “I couldn’t believe being chosen for the National Team. I hadn’t raced off the continent before and I was excited. I never doubted winning; I was riding the crest of having been selected for the team.” She was well prepared for the summer’s events and when the day for the slalom event arrived at the F.I.S. World Championships in Portillo, Chile, she knew that her homework had been well done. “I won almost every run in slalom practice. Of course, I grew up in the shadow of Jean Saubert and her 1964 achievements and when she told me after the first run of the World Championship Slalom that I could make up the 2.5 seconds that I was behind, I knew that I could.” She reached the podium with a bronze medal.
She continued her winning way by winning the National Slalom Title in 1967.
Penny McCoy Barrett was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1978.
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