Q&A with Olympic Silver Medalist Devin Logan
Devin Logan first took to the slopes when she was just two years old. Being born into a family of skiers, it was only natural, though.
Fast forward through 19 years of training and a lifetime dedicated to the sport she loves and Logan has earned her very first Olympic medal: a silver in the women's slopestyle skiing event.
She attributes her success to her lighthearted, carefree attitude. She loves the sport, it's as simple as that. "I just like having fun with it because that’s why I started skiing. I love the sport and I don’t want to put any extra pressure on myself," she said.
We sat down to chat with Logan about her experience at Sochi, the North Face uniform that she got to help custom design, and how she triumphantly overcame a serious knee injury. Here's what she had to say.
The Active Times: You just won an Olympic silver medal and you just turned 21 too, how does it feel? Has this sort of been like one big week-long celebration?
Devin Logan: Yeah it's been amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present and I’ve just been living it up. I mean, it’s still not real. It’s so surreal, but I’m just taking in every moment.
The slopestyle course at Sochi was making news before the competition even began and it supposedly scared Shaun White into withdrawing, were you scared of or worried about the course going in?
No, not really. The team that makes the course and the athletes work together, so if we needed any changes they would ask us at the end of the day about what we thought needed to be changed and they were accommodating to us. The fun thing about slopestyle is that no course is the same, so we had a lot of practice time to get ready for the new course and adjust to it, so I think it just took a little bit longer for people to be comfortable on the course. But at the end of the day I was really happy.
After you were awarded with your medal and saw your mom for the first time what was the first thing she said to you?
Well she actually had to climb over some barricades to actually see me and I was like, ‘Just come over!’ because I was doing some media stuff. But there were like no words, we just hugged each other and she started crying and that brought on my waterworks too. It was just a great moment having her there because she hasn’t seen me ski in so long and having some support there was amazing.
We know you helped designed the North Face uniform, can you tell us a little a bit about that process. What makes a good slopestyle uniform?
Since our sport got into the Olympics in 2011, North Face joined in to help make our uniforms, and being a North Face athlete they really wanted our input to help design the coats. And the best thing for us is to feel as comfortable as possible. We didn’t want any extra pressures or baggy-ness, we just want our full attention on the course. So they were really asking us about things like, even down to our socks, and we worked with them and they made amazing uniforms and we looked the best out there.
Going off the same idea, what are some of your must-have gear items for while you’re on the slopes?
Well it was so warm [in Sochi] that it was nice to have a hoodie to wear, because sometimes you just get too hot with a coat and you sweat and then your goggles fog, so just little things like that. We wear baggier things so having the perfect fit and feeling and looking good is important.
In one interview you said that you really enjoy freestyle skiing because it brings out each athlete’s personality. How would you describe your style of skiing?
I’m just fun and kind of wacky. If you see me before dropping in I always have music and I’m dancing around and I’ll bark in the starting gates. I just like having fun with it because that’s why I started skiing. I love the sport and I don’t want to put any extra pressure on myself. I’m always cracking jokes at the top of the course and cheering on everyone else, so I think that portrays in my skiing also.
And do you think that having such a lighthearted approach helps when it comes to competition?
Yeah, definitely. It relieves some of the pressure too... Just to have fun. I just wanted to land the run and be happy with that alone... So just having a good time with it, no extra pressures.
You were sidelined with a knee injury for a about year, was it frustrating not being able to compete, and how did you stay positive?
Well I think all injuries, when you get taken off the snow for that long, it really does affect you. I’d go out skiing every day, and not being able to ski the whole season was really tough and I’m not a patient person, so being on the couch for two months was really difficult, but I just worked hard. It kind of motivated me. It just got me to love the sport even more. I worked super hard to build up my strength again. I was working really hard at the Center of Excellence where the ski team trains out of. I did physical therapy and the gym five days a week and really got my butt kicked by the trainers.
Also, the ski industry is so small and I wanted to be up on the competitors… What I was missing out on and what I had to learn coming back, so I started judging. I was judging the North Face Park and Pipe Open and I was even at Dew Tour. Just seeing a different perspective of my sport, I think that really helped when I came back because it gave me new things to think about like what the judges want to see in my runs. And I also got to spy on some of the girls and keep an eye on what I had to do to come back on top.
You told NPR that you don’t really stress about competition that much, how do you prep yourself mentally before a race? Do you have a routine?
I don’t have a routine. I listen to music a lot. I’m known for listening to DMX when I’m dropping in. It gets me in the zone and really just makes it fun for me. And depending on what music I listen to it kind of shapes the skiing, so it gets me hyped and amped and ready to go out there and hopefully put some runs to my feet.
What advice would you give to young skiers or even just young athletes in general?
Just that you have to love what you do. That’s why I still ski, because I don’t have those extra pressures and I love going outside every day and hanging out with my friends. You just have to like what you do and don’t put the extra pressures on yourself.
What was your diet like approaching the Olympics?
Funny you ask… I pay attention to what I eat but at the same time I give the body what it wants. If I’m craving something, I eat it. I was really excited going into the Olympics about free McDonalds, I’m not gonna lie. But just healthy stuff and not overloading on carbs. Our nutritionist that worked with the ski team says that we can eat what we want but just to know how to. Like if we put a good workout in then yeah, you can have the bread and the buns and everything. But if you’re not doing anything that day then maybe lean off that a little bit more. It’s about balance. Not just salad, salad, salad, because I like mashed potatoes too!
We read that you like to cook for your friends? What are your favorite meals to make?
I love making chicken Parmesan. My mom taught me the recipe and it’s like a good homey meal when you’re on the road and you just want something nice and hearty. I love making baked brie too. It’s delicious. I’m always on Pinterest looking for new recipes.
We recently put together a list of the 50 greatest winter Olympians of all time, who would you name as the greatest winter Olympian, or even just your favorite?
Definitely Kelly Clark. She’s the most decorated snowboarder in the Olympics. I also got to meet Picabo Street who’s one of my favorites. She’s definitely up on the list. And Shaun White too. There’s a handful of them.
Would you say they’re all people you look up to?
Definitely, they’ve done so much in the sport. And also, unfortunately with Sarah Burke, she would have been skiing with us and she’s done so much for the sport too. You have to look up to them because they’re leading the way and I kind of want to follow in those foot steps as well.
What are you hopes for the future of slopestyle?
Now that we’re put on the word wide stage it’s high hopes. Everyone was able to watch us and hopefully the next generation wants to join in and have us much fun as we do and help grow the sport as much as possible.
What are some of your favorite ski resorts in the U.S.?
Well I’m from the East coast and I grew up skiing at Mount Snow and it’s definitely a great place for foundation, and they have one of the greatest parks in the east, so whenever I come back I always go there. I live in Park City now so I’m always skiing there as well. My brothers live in Mammoth and I spend sunny bluebird days in the park there. Whistler is also a favorite too.
It’s great because I get to travel around and I get to experience these new places. Even in Sochi, I went freeskiing there and the terrain there was amazing. The inbound terrain was unreal. It was something I’ve never skied before and that’s what’s exciting, experiencing new terrain and places and cultures.
We also read that you’ve been taking some college classes in your free time. What are you studying?
When I was injured I definitely did some classes but I kind of took a break this year just to focus on other things. I’m not really sure what I want to do yet. I’m just kind of getting the basic stuff first and trying to see what I want to to do with my life after skiing, because that’s really important because skiing won't last forever.
In terms of competition, where will you be placing your focus next?
I don’t know yet. I’m just kind of taking it day by day. I’m excited to just go home and have some down time and no pressure and just have fun skiing with my friends. I’m just kind of going to see what comes my way. As always, I’m gonna not take it seriously and just have fun with it in the next competitions I do.
Are you looking ahead to the next Winter Olympics?
Definitely. I think I’ve got a shot but I mean, it’s four years away so we’ll see what happens. But I think it’s in the future.