The past few years have been a whirlwind for Devin Logan.
About four years ago, the Long Island native earned an invite to the U.S. Freeskiing training facility in Park City after showing promise on the East Coast halfpipe and slopestyle circuit. Without blinking, she left her winter home at Mount Snow Ski Academy in Vermont to train with the big dogs on the national team.
Two short years later, Logan out-spun and out-jibbed just about every female freeskier in the world to take silver in the inaugural women’s slopestyle at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Never mind complaints about a slushy course and disastrous booters — Logan put down a commanding run to eke past bronze medalist Kim Lammare by 0.4 points.
Today, another two years down the road, Logan is still an imposing presence on the freeskiing circuit. She’s now 22 years old — older, stronger, wiser — and has several seasons of accolades to her name: 2014 FIS ski halfpipe world champion, three-time Association of Freeskiing Professionals overall world champion.
Logan kicks off the season on Dec. 10 when Dew Tour comes to Breckenridge. She’s now in town for training, and before taking to the park the Olympian will make an appearance at The North Face store in Breck on Nov. 23. The Summit Daily spoke with her before the meet-and-greet to hear more about the 2018 Games, the evolution of female freeskiing and why she’s excited for a February big air on the grass at Fenway Stadium.
Summit Daily News: You come from a long line of freeskiers. What drew you to park and pipe as a kid?
Devin Logan: It was all about my older brothers (Chris, 26, and Sean, 29), just skiing with them. They were definitely on that side of things, so I followed in their footsteps, following them on the mountain and doing what they did. They really got me started. Following around the boys pushed me and motivated me.
SDN: We’re exactly halfway between Winter Olympics right now. Is the season more or less relaxing with the big show two years away?
DL: It’s pretty relaxing, just because right now all the focus (for Olympians) is on Rio. That’s two years away, but the Summer Olympics are coming this summer. There’s time to breathe. It’s a good time to reevaluate what you want to do trick-wise, just getting everything I want dialed in without injuries. You never know when that’s going to happen, so you’re still taking precautions to stay healthy — get in the gym, practice, just be ready for the long season ahead.
SDN: That’s a good point. How do you progress and really push yourself without serious injury? Or is it part of the game?
DL: You just have to be ready to take impacts. If something goes wrong with a trick, you have to be smart about it, be smart about learning. We have trampolines and water ramps for the summer, and that really keeps your muscle memory going. You know what to do when the season comes along because you’ve been doing all that training throughout the year.
SDN: You’ve been on a roll since your silver in Sochi. Is it fair to call that the turning point of your competition career?
DL: It was definitely a turning point for our sport. We were put on the map worldwide, and you’ve seen the sport of freeskiing grow like crazy. I hope winning that silver helps inspire the next generation of young girls. There are still more males than females in freeskiing, so if I can help even things out with what I do that’s incredible. All competitions feel good when you win them, but Sochi was incredible because I was representing my country and everything else that came along with that.
SDN: How did Sochi impact your place in the ski world? Like, do people recognize you on the street now?
DL: (Laughs.) Not personally, no. But on the hill, it’s funny, even when you show up to small places around the world people will know who you are. It feels good when that happens. But, it’s pretty normal for me to just do the same thing I’ve always done, hang out with the same people, not get a big head. I just want to focus on skiing, getting better at what I do.
SDN: You said that the Olympics were a turning point for women’s freeskiing. Where do you see the sport going from here?
DL: There are girls in front of me who paved the way, but from growing up in Vermont and traveling around for competition, I’ve seen how the sport is really progressing. There are nationwide competitions now — international competitions even. You’re seeing the sport grow. There are more and more girls in the park. Even at competitions, there are girls from across the world. It’s a worldwide sport now.
SDN: How does that affect the level of competition? Who makes you nervous when you see their name on a start list?
DL: I mean, everyone these days is incredible. Just this summer, I’ve been on skis more than I have been the past couple years, traveling around with the U.S. Freeskiing team. Skiing with those boys has really been inspirational for me, like growing up. There are so many styles on the team and it’s been fun to watch. This is a fun sport. It’s all about having fun, so if someone is having a good time you want to watch them because they’re probably going to throw down a sweet trick.
SDN: As the competition gets stiffer, what have you done to set your style apart?
DL: For me, style is something that looks super-effortless. That’s how I want my skiing to look, that I’m not really trying. But that’s difficult, and it’s why you put so much time into training. It’s so you can get those tricks in your sleep, make it so they look effortless.
SDN: Since you aren’t vying for Olympic gold this season, what competitions are on your mind? Anything you just can’t wait for?
DL: There are so many contests and they’re all so fun, but there are a lot of exciting and new ones this year, like the big air at Fenway. That will be my first big air event, with scaffolding and everything in the stadium. My family will be there, so that’s cool. I also like Dew Tour because it’s the first event of the season. You get to see everyone again — it’s just fun to get back into the season.