Outdoor Adventures: Silver keeps Logan smiling
She’s probably still smiling.
“There is just this smile across my face and I don’t think it’s going away for a while,” Devin Logan said the other day during a phone interview from a New York City cab.
Logan won the inaugural silver medal in women’s ski slopestyle at the Olympics in Sochi about a week ahead of her 21st birthday.
The West Dover, Vt., freeskier and Mount Snow Academy graduate spent that birthday a little differently than most.
She started the day doing a Good Morning America interview followed by one with Sports Illustrated. Instead of exercise (though walking the city streets can be a workout, she said), she had her hair and nails done. By the end of the night, she was singing karaoke.
The whirlwind is going to continue for a while. She’s taking a well-deserved break from competition after that silver-medal run in the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park that included a rightside 540 Japan and cork 720 tail. She was the lone American on the podium, sandwiched between Canadians.
“The course wasn’t all that bad,” she said. “We worked hand in hand with the builders. They listened to what we wanted and were very accommodating. I just needed some time to adjust and at the end of the day, I really liked the course.”
She likened living in the athletes’ village to a college dorm with a shared dining hall.
And just like viewers got misty-eyed watching performances on television, athletes also got emotional on the sidelines.
“I mean, I would get goose bumps,” she said.
Slopestyle skiing, along with halfpipe skiing, were new to the Olympics, but, of course, not to Logan and her impressive career that’s included X Games medals.
For many viewers, it was their first time seeing something like that and Logan’s found herself something of an ambassador and translator to a sport filled with its own quirky lingo.
“I just take the time to explain it to them,” she said. “I hope they find it as amusing as I do. Now is a great opportunity to grow the sport as much as possible and get the next generation interested.”
One way to do that is to host a competition. That’s in the works for Mount Snow, her hometown mountain, this season. Details are still being worked out.
“Maybe it will be a rail jam,” she said. “Something fun, something mellow for the kids.”
It wasn’t that long ago that Logan was a kid in a skiing family that includes two freeskiing brothers, Sean and Chris, who encouraged her to follow in their high-flying footsteps.
Before moving to Vermont, she was a weekend warrior, her mother driving her four hours each way from New York to the slopes before making the move to southern Vermont.
“My family put everything on the line,” she said. “They came up with ways to pay for my equipment, my tuition for Mount Snow Academy. My family did all this work to make my dream come true. You really have to love what you do. I love skiing. My family loves skiing. I tried not to waste their time.”
On boards at age 2, by 17 she was winning her first X Games medal. But she blew out her knee in August of 2012 at the start of the Olympic qualifying period. She underwent rehabilitation, even judging some events to grow her understanding of the disciplines.
“I really want to thank all friends and family who have been with me through thick and thin,” she said. “I’ve come to think of this as my little comeback story and I’m so happy that I could be there to represent my country. It was an honor.”
Along the way, she became friends with another Mount Snow icon – Kelly Clark. The three-medal winning Olympic snowboarder would come to the school to talk about her experiences.
“She would come by and talk about all the hard work. I remember those days. She played a big part,” Logan said.
As a young competitor, Logan traveled all over the East Coast competing. But there is one place she’s yet to ski – Tuckerman Ravine.
“I’ve heard good things,” she said. “I’d like to do it once everything isn’t as busy.”
Though silver is a wondrous accomplishment, gold is on Logan’s mind.
“I’m really happy with silver,” she said. “Gold would have been better, but I have no regrets.”
Just imagine the smile if she wins that one.
(Marty Basch can be reached through onetankaway.com.)