When Olympic slopestyle skier Devin Logan readies to hit the course, she pumps the volume.
Headphones underneath the layers of snow attire, the 24-year-old, who spent five years of her childhood in Oceanside, listens to music to calm frayed nerves or get pumped up.
“Music is clutch for me,” Logan told the Herald in an email from PyeongChang, South Korea, the site of the 2018 Winter Olympics where she is competing this week. “DMX is usually on blast to get me going!”
Then, in a tightly choreographed performance, she hits the snow — grinding on rails, launching off ramps, flipping, twisting and turning in the air. “I can’t even tell you how many spins they do,” her mother, Nancy, remarked in an interview. “They’re beyond me on that.”
Looking at her past performances, it might be hard to realize, but “Believe it or not,” Logan wrote. “I’m actually afraid of heights.”
This is Logan’s second time at the Winter Olympics. In 2014, she earned the inaugural silver medal in the sport, which debuted at the games that year in Sochi, Russia. “It’s been a journey of a lifetime,” she said of the transition from a hobby to an internationally recognized sport. “I still have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming, and that this is real life.”
Currently training out of Park City, Utah, Logan moved to West Dover, Vt., from Long Island in 2007 when she was 14. Before that, she lived in Baldwin until fourth grade, when the family moved to Oceanside.
Logan is the youngest of five athletically inclined children, her mother said, adding that they moved to the South Shore because of the well-regarded sports programs. She played soccer on the Oceanside travel team, football with the Baldwin Bombers and lacrosse in the middle school. “Believe me, when I tell you we were involved in sports, we were,” Nancy said.
At OMS, she caught the eye of now three-years retired phys. ed. instructor George Wynn, who had previously taught and coached Logan’s older brother Chris. “She always had this fire, this determination,” Wynn recalled in an interview. “The kind of determination I feel you’re born with. You either have it or you don’t have it.”
But while Wynn said Logan could have excelled in any of the flat-land sports she took part in, it was during weekend excursions to Mount Snow in Vermont — beginning at 18 months old for Logan — where her mother said she picked up skiing. The alpine variant initially piqued her interest, but for practical reasons — Chris and Logan’s other older brother Sean preferred the more modern slopestyle — they pushed her into the form she now specializes in.
“I thought I wanted to be just like Picabo Street,” Logan wrote, referencing the 1998 U.S. gold medalist in alpine skiing. “But my two older brothers were of the opinion that freestyle skiing was way cooler than alpine so I followed them into the park.”
There were no regrets, however. “That’s the way it goes,” Logan’s mother said. “But I think she’s happy it did.”
When the time came for Logan to attend high school, the family made the choice to move. Her brothers were already attending the Mount Snow Academy in Vermont, and she decided to follow them. With the opportunity to spend seven days a week on the powder, Logan’s mother said, doors started opening for her.
She got her first break at the 2012 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., but suffered a major knee injury later that year, putting her out of commission for the season. She bounced back stronger, however, and landed on the inaugural U.S. women’s slopestyle team in 2014, and was a dominant force there, bested only by Canadian Dara Howell, who won the gold that year.
Her mother, who is currently an administrator at Mount Snow and was once Logan’s soccer coach, said she is happy to stay behind a desk and return to the mom role. “I’m the mom, not the coach,” she said. “I’m a shoulder if she needs to cry, a phone call away if she needs to scream.”
But despite traveling the world, meeting athletes from dozens of different countries, Logan hasn’t forgotten her roots. After Sochi in 2014, Logan returned to OMS to visit Wynn and the other children there. “She doesn’t forget where she came from,” he recounted of the visit. “That’s the kind of kid she is.”