Peggy Fleming

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Peggy Fleming
Former U.S. Olympian Peggy Fleming holds a Gold at the Pavilion.jpg
Personal information
Country represented USA
Born (1948-07-27) July 27, 1948 (age 68)
San Jose, California, United States
Height 5 ft 4 in (163 cm)[1]
Former coach William Kipp, Carlo Fassi
Skating club Arctic Blades FSC, Lake Arrowhead
Broadmoor Skating Club, Colorado Springs
Retired 1968

Peggy Gail Fleming[2] (born July 27, 1948) is an American former figure skater. She is the 1968 Olympic Champion in Ladies' singles and a three-time World Champion (1966–1968). Fleming has been a television commentator in figure skating for over 20 years, including several Winter Olympic Games.

Life and career[edit]

Fleming was born in San Jose, California, the daughter of Doris Elizabeth (née Deal) and Albert Eugene Fleming, a newspaper journalist[2] and former US Marine.[3] She began skating at age nine[4] when her family moved to Cleveland and soon began skating in earnest on the advice of her father. In 1961, when Peggy was twelve years old, her coach William Kipp was killed in the crash of Sabena Flight 548 along with the rest of the United States figure skating team while en route to the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships. Fleming was subsequently coached by Carlo Fassi. Her unusual style led to five U.S. titles, three World titles and the gold medal in the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, France. Her award in Grenoble was singularly important for the American athletes and the nation as a whole, for this was the only gold medal that the U.S. Olympic team won in the 1968 Winter Games. It signaled a return to American dominance in the sport of women's figure skating following the unprecedented tragedy of the 1961 plane crash.

After becoming an Olympic champion, Fleming turned professional, performed on TV shows including the 1974 Perry Como Christmas Special and toured with many skating shows, like Ice Capades. During the Cold War, Fleming had filmed a TV show in USSR[5] and skated to Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto in China.[6] Since 1981, she has been a skating commentator for ABC Sports.[5] In 1993, the Associated Press released results of a national sports study.[7] Fleming was ranked as the 3rd most popular athlete in America, behind fellow Olympians Mary Lou Retton and Dorothy Hamill.[8]

Peggy Fleming was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998. The cancer was detected in its early stages, and surgery was successful. She became a breast cancer activist who recommends not procrastinating and advocates for early detection.[9]

In June 13, 1970, Fleming married her teenage sweetheart Greg Jenkins, a dermatologist and a former amateur pair figure skater.[10][11] The couple have two sons, Andy (born in 1977) and Todd (born in 1988),[5] and three grandchildren.[12] They also owned and operated Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery in California. The winery produced close to 2,000 cases of wine a year with such brands as "Choreography Cabernet" and "San Francisco Bay Syrah Rosé."[13] Profits from the "Victories Rosé" went towards charities that supported research towards breast cancer.[13] The winery closed in 2011.[14]

In 1988, a Peggy Fleming all-porcelain doll was made by Franklin Mint Heirloom Porcelain Dolls.

In 2007, Fleming appeared in the movie Blades of Glory as a judge.

In 2010, Art of the Olympians produced a 30-minute documentary.[15] She is also an artist with works on display with the Art of the Olympians.[16]

Along with former Olympian Vonetta Flowers, Fleming was injured and briefly hospitalized after a traffic accident while riding in US Vice President Joe Biden's motorcade at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February 2010.[17]

In 2011, Fleming became spokesperson for the Robitussin "Last Names Giveaway", since her last name sounds like one of the cold and flu symptoms Robitussin® treats (phlegm), per the rules of the contest.[18]

Peggy Fleming Doll, 1988


Peggy Fleming at the 1968 Olympics on a 1983 Paraguayan stamp
Event 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968
Winter Olympics 6th 1st
World Championships 7th 3rd 1st 1st 1st
North American Championships 2nd 1st
U.S. Championships 2nd N. 3rd J. 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st

Awards and honors[edit]

  • ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year, 1967
  • In 2003, Fleming was honored with the "Lombardi Award of Excellence" from the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation. The award was created to honor Coach Lombardi's legacy, and is awarded annually to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of the Coach.


  • Peggy Fleming is mentioned very prominently in the Peanuts comic strip during the late 1960s and early 1970s, with Snoopy clearly having a crush on her.
  • On February 22, 2011, the Trey Anastasio Band performed a song about Fleming, titled "Peggy".[19]
  • In an episode of Community, Ben Chang dresses as Peggy Fleming for the school Halloween dance and accuses anyone who mistakes him for an Asian skater of being racist. Shirley correctly identifies him, saying that "[she's] always loved Peggy Fleming."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Peggy Fleming". July 27, 1948. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Peggy Flemming". 
  3. ^ "Peggy Fleming (2012) Remembers". Retrieved November 21, 2016. 
  4. ^ Woolum, Janet (1998) Outstanding Women Athletes: Who They Are and How They Influenced Sports in America. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 1-57356-120-7. p. 124
  5. ^ a b c Hilton, Lisette (2005). "Fleming launched modern era of figure skating". ESPN Classics. 
  6. ^ "Peggy Fleming" (videos). Peggy Fleming's Official Site. 2014. 
  7. ^ Wilstein, Steve (May 17, 1993). "Retton, Hammill most popular American athletes". Associated Press. 
  8. ^ "Athletes". Archived from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2014. 
  9. ^ "American Breast Cancer Guide – Celebrities Inspiration Roundup". April 27, 2006. Archived from the original on April 27, 2006. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  10. ^ Borden, Timothy (2004). "Fleming, Peggy". Notable Sports Figures. 
  11. ^ Kaminsky, Peter (November 1, 1999). "Picks and Pans Review: The Long Program". People Magazine. 
  12. ^ "Peggy Fleming". 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Sports Illustrated, July 2, 2007, p. 87
  14. ^ Hamilton, Marianne L. (January 16, 2012). "Fleming Jenkins tasting room closes for good". Los Gatos Weekly-Times via San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  15. ^ hosted by Fleming
  16. ^
  17. ^ Associated Press (February 14, 2010). "Fleming injured in accident in Biden's motorcade". Team USA. 
  18. ^ "Cold and Flu Season Promotions | Robitussin®". Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  19. ^ livephish (February 25, 2011). "Trey Anastasio, Terminal 5, New York, NY". 

External links[edit]