Penny McCoy is living proof that, while the road less traveled may not be the easiest route in life—it can ultimately be the most thrilling and rewarding. A true survivor, Penny McCoy has experienced Olympic glory as well as personal loss, heartbreak, and failure. Throughout it all, Penny has remained a constant torchbearer and a passionate crusader for Christ. Despite the highs and lows, Penny McCoy is true to her personal vision: FREEDOM to be who God created her to be and freedom to do what God created her to do.
Penny McCoy’s independent spirit and love of freedom was instilled in her from birth by her parents. Penny’s father Dave McCoy was the fiercely visionary creator of the Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort located in Mammoth Lakes, California. Where other people saw only wilderness and snow, Dave McCoy saw possibility. In 1953 he bought the lease to that awesome peak on the Eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range for $1 a year for 99 years. Many years later, Mammoth Mountain stands in tribute to its name—a mammoth monument to personal vision, tenacity and courage.
Having been born a daughter of this glorious ski resort, it’s no wonder that Penny McCoy finds joy and inspiration when shooting down the slopes of her beloved Mammoth Mountain. But, for Penny, skiing became much more than a hobby. At age 16, Penny became the youngest competitor ever to medal in skiing in the World Championships. A bona fide international sports star, Penny graced the pages of Sports Illustrated and won the right to compete on the Olympic team at the 1968 Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble, France.
But Olympic glory was not to be. “I was replaced,” says Penny. In a heartbreaking turn of events (incited by a coach’s personal motives) Penny was placed in an alternate slot on the Olympic team and was never able to compete. Sadly for Penny, more than an Olympic medal was lost that day. Her self-esteem was shattered, and Penny struggled to keep her hope and faith in herself alive. Penny’s heart and spirit were broken. It would take the miracle-working hand of God and decades of working it all out with God for Penny to be healed. The life’s lessons, freedom, healing, wholeness and victory that Penny has experienced can be passed to you. Penny knows there is a silver lining to her clouds of hopelessness and brokenness in that she now has the opportunity to pass to you her life’s lessons about the freedom, healing, wholeness and victory that she has experienced.
Due to her personal sense of failure and brokenness, Penny made several bad choices. She abandoned her plans to attend college in France and married instead. This marriage gave her three wonderful children, but devastated her already wounded heart. Years of heartache and struggle ensued.
Eventually, Penny began to examine her faith. “I did have a love for God all my life, as long as I can remember,” says Penny. “But, I did not have a personal relationship with him.” Tapping into the same core of energy that made her a skiing sensation, Penny began working at her faith. When she said, “yes” to personal relationship, things began to turn around. The athlete within her was reborn, and Penny decided to tackle one of the most grueling endurance events in the world: the Ironman Triathlon. Proudly, she eventually competed in four separate Ironman races, one located in Japan, one in New-Zealand, and two in Hawaii. With each race Penny grew stronger physically as well as spiritually. Her confidence grew bold once again as she realized that she was free to be who God created her to be rather than what circumstances seemed to dictate. After nineteen years of marriage, Penny divorced her husband and returned home to Mammoth Mountain to work in the family business. Through all the ups and downs, both on ski hills and off, Penny McCoy grew strong as a Christian, strong as an athlete, and strong as an individual with a vision and a voice. Sports Illustrated recognized this when they named Penny as one of the best women in sports throughout the decades. “Ultimately,” says Penny, “I’m becoming what God created me to become and doing what he’s created me to do; and that, in and of itself, is a huge part of ultimate success.”
In 2008, Penny put pen to paper to write her autobiography, The Ultimate Victory (Author House). Sparing no detail, Penny boldly tells her true story of love, loss, longing and the struggle to claim personal victory from life’s defeat. It is Penny’s hope that her example can inspire you to win in your response to hardship, suffering, wrong choices, failure, guilt, shame, fear, confusion, loneliness, relationships, heartache, disappointment, injustice, and wins and losses that entangle your emotions, mind, heart, soul, and physical being; as well as, be a powerful testimony of the goodness and faithfulness of God that reaches to the heavens, and his love that never fails or forsakes. Since then, Penny has continued writing three more inspiring books: From My Heart to Yours, The Holy Exchange, and I Am Amidst You Now..
In 2006 Penny made the decision to form Penny’s Gang Records. Penny’s Gang Records (PGR) is an innovative, multi-genre, faith-based independent record company based in Los Angeles, California. Through PGR, Penny has found a missing link to Penny’s vision ultimately giving voice to her vision through the healing power of music. But Penny’s Gang is more than just music–it’s a lifestyle brand. The centerpiece of Penny’s Gang music is messages from God’s heart as our Father to our hearts as his children. Penny sometimes says with a chuckle that her music is prophet rock. Each song has its own unique vivid colorful illustration, prophetic word and story that have evolved into beautiful inspiring books.
Penny’s vision for PGR extends beyond the music. “I want to create music and images that surround people with hope and invigorate their souls,” says Penny. “I want to surround people in their daily lives with constant reminders of uplifting messages of love, freedom and acceptance.”
Athlete, author, speaker, mother, grandmother and record company executive are just some of the titles held by the uniquely charismatic Penny McCoy whose story is as true as her heart.simple text