US Olympic freeskiing superstar Devin Logan stood on the podium in Sochi, Russia a few weeks ago, looked around and must of said to herself: “Where my dawgs at?”
Logan took second behind Canada's Dara Howell in the women's ski slopestyle final. Howell finished with a score of 94.20, ahead of Logan (85.40) and Canadian teammate Kim Lammare (85.00), who took bronze. Two other Americans, Julia Krass and Keri Herman, reached the 12-skier final but finished just 10 th and 11th.
“Actually,” Logan, a silver medalist in the winter Olympic debut of slopestyle skiing told The Shadow League, “I went into it with an open mind and was just happy to be competing in the first place. I just wanted to put a run down on my feet. Hopping up on the podium was a bonus, ya know. I wish more of my teammates were up there with me, but I was glad to be standing up there.”
The men’s slopestyle squad swept the podium in the first-ever Olympic competition; only the third time in history the Americans have swept an event at the Winter Games. All four members of the American team qualified for the final; Bobby Brown finished ninth.
The US women’s slopestyle and halfpipe teams didn’t bum rush the medal podium as expected, but if skiing were baseball, you’d say Logan broke up a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth by putting it down on the slopes hard -- heavy and with tenacity -- to grab that second slot and with it a slice of history.
It’s a style that is reminiscent of her favorite hip-hop artist DMX.
“I listen to music while I ski, “ Logan said. “I kind of can’t ski without it. “Roughriders Anthem” is the song I listen to. I don’t know it just kind of gets me pumped up. There’s something about the energy of his music that puts me in a zone… and sometimes I even bark.”
Like a late ‘90s Swizz Beats creation, Logan’s rise to US Slopestyle supremacy came pretty naturally. The Oceanside, Long Island native grew up the youngest of five children and raised in the snow-drenched hills of Vermont. Logan’s athletic prowess can be attributed to her family. Her older brothers Chris and Sean are well known and respected backcountry and park skiers with successful ski film careers.
“My brothers and sisters were always skiing and my family went up to Mount Snow every weekend," Logan explained. “I kind of got dragged into it at the age of 2 and I started competing against older kids when I was six.”
Her older sisters, Nikki and Shannon both went to college on softball scholarships, but Devin chose the slope action over the diamond.
“We all just kind of did our own thing and wanted to shine in our own way,” she insisted. “So I followed my brothers and always wanted to impress them and followed in their footsteps. I mean, I tried softball, but I always loved skiing so much more.”
“Just being out with my friends, always having a good time…it’s indescribable, the feeling you get when you land and learn a new trick. It’s the ultimate high.”
Logan’s a bit of a complex individual in that she’s ferociously composed. The rage-inducing DMX may be the soundtrack and inspiration for her aerial mastery, but within her athletic social circle, Logan is the comical ice-breaker in any pressure situation.
“As a skiing competitor I’m pretty determined,” she said. “Any competitor has to be. They have to want to be up on the podium. At the same time I’m laid back I’m always the one joking at the top of the course and dancing around and having fun with my friends because that takes the pressure off.”
As enigmatic as she is spectacular on skis, Logan’s ability to contort her demeanor (one minute she's Pharrell’s Happy and the next Onyx’s Throw Ya Gunz) is what makes her a formidable force and a rising star. Oddly enough, Logan also claims to be afraid of heights but she still makes her living kissing the sky and attempting sick, twisted stunts. Go figure.
“Yeah. That confuses people a lot,” Logan laughed. “I guess I know what I’m doing in the air and occupy my time with my tricks. It’s so natural so when I’m skiing the height doesn’t bother me but it does with other activities. It’s weird.”
In her weird, wild world, Logan has compiled three X Games medals, a National Championship, two Winter Dew Tour Champion titles, a Junior World Champion title and two AFP Overall titles.
Since the start of the 2010-2011 season Logan has been beasting opponents in halfpipe and slopestyle. At the tender age of 17, while most kids were mall-lounging, guzzling kegs and preparing for college life, Logan was jet-setting and gracing podiums in almost every World Cup stop. Her dominance earned her an invite to the European X Games in both disciplines, where she snagged the halfpipe bronze medal.
While Logan enjoys “normal” activities in her spare time, such as cooking and baking and “leisurely Spring skiing”— when on the competitive hill she’s straight gangster with it. Those invaluable early years of falling down and chasing after her siblings made her tough as overcooked steak. In the beginning of the 2010 season she skied with her ski poles taped to her glove due to a broken wrist in a cast.
She started the 2012-2013 season with a bang, winning the World Cup opener in New Zealand in August 2012, before taking a nasty spill during training and tearing her meniscus, suffering two micro fractures and a torn ACL.
With the 2014 Olympics breathing down her neck, Logan concentrated on an intense rehab process and returned to winter competition this season, picking up where she left off.
“It took a lot of hard work, being injured,” Logan recalled. “I knew I had to heel up pretty fast and good to be ready for this upcoming season. There was a lot of pressure going into the summer months to be ready for everything just so you can make the Olympic team first of all. Then everything paid off… all the hard work and rough days at the gym…I wouldn’t have changed anything.”
Logan’s impactful return has made her an inspiration and becoming the first US woman to medal in Olympic slopestyle as well as being recognized as a double threat (Logan missed the halfpipe qualifications by 10 points) has elevated her to ambassador status in her field of expertise.
“Our highest tier of competition was X games,” Logan said. “And now being put on the worldwide stage in the Olympics is going to grow our support tremendously for generations to come. I’m enjoying every minute of it.”
Logan flew under the radar entering the Olympics. Despite having an accolade-filled career, Logan was not among the US stars that were picked as media darlings and chosen as the faces of the American marketing machine. Logan ‘s name wasn’t coming out of the mouths of TV talking heads and those compiling “Olympic Athletes To Watch” lists. Logan, however made it very clear that her bite was as big as her bark.
“In qualifications I landed good runs and I was holding back a little because you want to save something for the finals,” Logan recalls. “I dropped from fifth to last going into the finals, but in the finals because of the weather conditions (getting slushy). I was seeing a lot of girls fall in their first run… and so once I landed my first run, I knew I was in a good spot.”
Everything just seemed to click for Logan. She got her mom, who’s afraid of flying and whose candle making business usually consumes her every minute, to get on a plane for the first time in 15 years. While Devin’s mom was boarding the plane, she received an unexpected call from Devin’s older sister, who had just given birth two weeks early to a baby boy.
“A lot was going on definitely, it was an early surprise," Devin said. “Apparently he wanted to see me ski as well."
Logan says the birth of her nephew also signified the beginning of a new future for her as an Olympic silver medalist and freeskiing pioneer. Endorsements, speaking engagements, and fame will follow. Logan says she’s hoping her success leads to “new opportunities,” but she’s going to put the DMX on chill for a minute and celebrate recently turning 21.
“I’m looking to have some down time. We had a really fast season with back to back competitions, just trying to qualify for the Olympics and now the pressures off, just happy to be home and hanging with friends and catching up with people and just fun spring skiing.”
Logan’s rest won’t last too long, especially for a multi-talented skier whom cats are now calling the female Shaun White. No pressure right?
“I think that awesome,” Logan said. “Shaun is a great competitor and he’s in the history books so anything compared to him can’t be taken lightly and is a great compliment.”
With her sight set on the 2018 Olympics, Logan won’t sneak up on anybody this time. The fans will be expecting greatness and Logan says she’s locked in on even bigger goals to attack. The white snow is her domain and she’s not trying to fade to black.
“Yes. I definitely wanted to be on the team for halfpipe next Olympics,” Logan implored. “ I just barely missed it so I want to hopefully make that team in a few years and bump up a spot in slopestyle and hopefully get a gold. “
It’s a good bet she’ll be there too, at the top of the hill two-stepping, head-bopping to some DMX joint. As far as freeskiing goes, Logan is here to stay.