Think back, if you can to what Vermont was like in the early 1990s. Burton had forged a path for snowboarding and it was growing like wildfire. Concept2 was revolutionizing fitness equipment. Events like the Burlington Criterium, the Burlington Marathon and the Bud Light Triathlon were drawing huge crowds. Trail systems like Kingdom Trails (established formally in 1994) were blossoming. Backcountry skiing (and secret glading), epitomized by the iconic shot Brian Mohr took in 2000 that graces our cover, was taking off.
I remember coming to Vermont in 1997 for what was one of the early incarnations of what evolved into NEMBAFest. Pedro’s Mountain Bike Festival was held in a field in Randolph and it felt a little like the Woodstock of mountain biking. I was the editor of Bicycling Magazine at the time, based out of Pennsylvania. After a weekend of riding the Randolph trails, camping out, waking up to is-this-for-real views and sharing beers with people I still call friends today I vowed I would move here.
It didn’t happen right away but I found every excuse I could to visit, driving five or six hours to compete in the Bud Light Triathlon at Mount Snow or the Lake Dunmore triathlon series or the Stowe Derby in the winter. For five years, I shared a ski house in Stowe.
Every time I crossed the border, I would look for Vermont Sports. I pored over the race calendar and the results pages (this was before results were posted online) and read every Reader Athlete profile. Vermont Sports made me want to compete, to explore the state and, ultimately, to move here. I finally did, first from 2001-2003 to work in advertising and then back again in 2006 to edit EatingWell.
I never intended to edit this magazine but when my husband, Angelo Lynn, bought it in 2013 from Sky Barsch and then asked me to join the family business in 2015 it was like picking up again with a long-lost friend.
We have tried our best to respect and evolve the wonderful publication that Kate Carter started in 1990 (see her story on the following page). In the past seven years, writers such as Leath Tonino, Bill McKibben, Sue Halpern, Kirk Kardashian and David Goodman have helped tell the stories of the people, places, businesses and gear that have made Vermont what it is. Established photographers Brian Mohr, Jeb Wallace-Brodeur and John Lazenby have been joined by new talent such as Nathanael Asaro and Brooks Curran. Their stories and images are archived at Vtsports.com and we repost the best of them in our enewsletters. The cover shot of this issue (above), taken by Brian Mohr of EmberPhoto in 2000, is one of my all-time favorites.
There have been several constants. Art director Shawn Braley has done a yeoman’s job of designing and putting together every issue since 2005 and advertisers such as Outdoor Gear Exchange, Onion River Outdoors, West Hill shop and many others have helped us grow the magazine and extend its distribution to seven states.
Thanks to all of them—and most of all, to you, our readers— this print magazine (now digital, too) has not only survived 30 years but had its best year ever in 2019.
This special issue celebrates Vermont Sports’ 30 years by focusing on the people who changed our landscape and the game-changing companies and innovations they brought to sports.
Did we miss people? I am sure we did—and we’d like to hear who you think should be added. This is just the start of an annual honor roll we hope to add to in years to come.
—Lisa Lynn, Editor,