Q&A with Devin Logan

Olympic freeskier Devin Logan

When slopestyle skiing made its Olympic debut in 2014, Devin Logan became the event’s first silver medalist. This time around, she could have even more on her plate in PyeongChang, as she is looking to qualify in both slopestyle and halfpipe.

Earlier this year, we sent Logan a list of questions. Here’s what she had to say.

What’s your earliest memory of skiing?
Being the youngest of five, I started competing at the age of 6 because my family was already going to all these competitions with my brothers. My mom, I think, was sick of watching me and just handed me off to my coaches. I still have a picture to this day, but I first competed in ballet skiing the last year it was still a sport. It is when you have short skis and long poles and do a routine to a song of your choice. Mine was Little Mermaid “Under the Sea!” My mom would make me practice in my front lawn because I was 6 and couldn’t remember my whole run!

What is your earliest or favorite memory of watching the Olympics, and did you imagine yourself being there someday?
I always remember watching the Olympics growing up. My birthday is in February, so I always remember it being around that time. Also I grew up skiing moguls and I loved Jonny Moseley. He even came to my home hill when I was young and I stood in line for a long time to wait and get his autograph. When I started to get older and traveling to competitions, I would have conversations with people on the plane and they would ask if I wanted to go to the Olympics, and I would have to explain that my sport isn’t in the Olympics but hopefully one day it would be. And it finally came true!

Who’s your Olympic role model?
I have always looked up to Picabo Street. I had poster of her on my walls when I was a young kid. After winning a silver medal in Sochi, I actually had an interview with her and I was star struck. After the interview, I had an amazing conversation with her and she gave me a lot of good advice. I would love to be able to meet her again and be able to ski with her.

How influential were your parents in your athletic career?
My mom always tells me the story that I was getting pushed in the stroller going up and down the sidelines right after I was born while she was coaching my older sisters on the soccer field. My mom was a very athletic kid growing up and the boys’ baseball team even wanted her to play for them in high school. Being the youngest of five very athletic children, it was always a challenge to be successful in sports. Growing up, I played every sport in the books. My brother played pee-wee football and my mom wouldn’t let me be a cheerleader, but she allowed me to play football from the ages of 7-12 where I was the quarterback of the all-boys team. Sports were always a way to keep us out of trouble my mom said. My mom was my coach for all my sports teams and she always made an example out of me. Even on my high school soccer team, she wasn’t the coach but she was still yelling at me from the sidelines and of course was the loudest one!

What’s a big obstacle that you’ve overcome?
The biggest obstacle I’ve overcome is the financial aspect for our sport. Skiing is not cheap and being the youngest of five, I have had to work with a lot of handed-down gear. I have had to always fundraise for my season to be able to travel to all the competitions.

What’s the hardest part of freeskiing?
The hardest part for me is that I am the only female to compete in two events. Usually you can perfect your skills in one event, but when you have to split up your time training for two events, it is overwhelming. You are physically and mentally drained, so being able to succeed in both disciplines is a rare thing.

What’s your biggest fear when competing?
The biggest fear in competing is being able to trust yourself and have the confidence to land the tricks we throw. Injuries in our sport are very common and most times take you out of the sport for long periods of time.

Have you been seriously injured before?
The year before Sochi, I blew my knee. ACL, meniscus, and two major micro-fractures in my knee. Coming back to snow was the year of my Olympic qualifications. While injured, I became a certified judge for my sport. This really helped me learn a different side of my sport and see what the judges were looking at in winning runs. I took a lot out of this because when I finally returned to competitions, I had a better understanding for what the judges were looking for in a winning run. It was also a great opportunity to still be present in my sport while I wasn’t able to physically compete.

Within freeskiing, who has been your greatest influence?

The biggest influence in my sport was the late Sarah Burke. She paved the way for the women in our sport and got us to where we are today in our sport. She fought for the women’s rights to ski on the same course as the men, equal prize money for the women, and she competed in both events too. She is still the person I look up to today because of her attitude and outlook on life. I just hope I am doing a good job to help live on her legacy for female skiers.

Who are your biggest rivals?
I wouldn’t use the world “rivals” because in women’s skiing, anyone on any given day can win. That is what is so awesome about my sport. It is all friendly because you want to see people to be able to put down the best run because it pushes you to get better and learn more!

Who do you socialize with most?
We are all friends throughout the sport. We travel with each other and all go to the same events together. It is still a small sport where you don’t really want to make enemies.

What was the best part of living in the Athletes’ Village during the Olympics?
Sochi was my first Olympics and the best part about the Athlete Village was being able to all get together in the cafeteria. You are able to see so many people from different sports and countries. I very much enjoyed being able to trade pins from different countries. It was kind of a competition for us to see who can collect the most pins from different countries.

Where do you keep your Olympic medal?
I won the first silver medal in women’s slopestyle. I keep it in a bag on my shelf with other trophies that I have collected over the years. People get a kick out of it because I love taking it out and letting people wear it because I believe everyone should be able to put on an Olympic medal and feel special!

What’s your favorite perk of being an Olympic athlete?
My favorite perk of being an Olympic athlete is the opportunities that it presents afterwards. For example, I was able to attend Oscar parties after Sochi meeting celebrities and them being in shock to meet me. I was able to meet Chris Santos from “Chopped” and get invited to his restaurant in New York City, Beauty and Essex. I also was able to have my 21st birthday in Las Vegas after Sochi and stay at TAO and have Jason Derulo perform. It was so insane! Memories I will never forget.

What are your pre-competition rituals?
I like to listen to music and jam out and dance around the start. I like to blast the music really loud and sing in the start gate before dropping in.

Do you have a lucky charm or an item that you can’t train or compete without?
I can not ski without music!

What’s your music of choice while training?
I love all kinds of music except country. While training, I go through the songs I’ve saved on my Spotify library. I love rap music the most though. Some good old-school rap and especially DMX.

How do you unwind after a competition?
I believe in the 10 percent rule! That is, being able to go out and celebrate 10 percent of my winnings on my friends.

Any tattoos?
I have four tattoos on the lower half of my arm. I have a mountain range with six snowflakes for my family members. I have the saying “don’t fear the journey” under the mountains. I got that added when I injured myself. After the Olympics, I got a compass with the words “not all who wander are lost.” The artist actually spelt it wrong too and I hadn’t noticed till my friend said something to me and it took me awhile to get it fixed. He spelt it “not all who wonder are lost.” Finally, I have three snow-covered trees above my wrist! Trees with snow on them just look so pretty!

Do you collect anything?
I started collecting magnets from all the places I visit. It’s fun to see on my fridge every morning all the cool places I have been.

What has been the most special place you’ve traveled to?
I love being able to travel and see the world. Being able to experience different cultures is so cool and I am very grateful for that. I have been able to travel to Mexico the past two summers to help build homes for families in need with the organization Hope Sports. It’s a very grounding experience to help better these families’ lives and remind myself of how lucky I am for the life I have.

What will success look like for you in PyeongChang?
My main goal is to attend the Olympics for both halfpipe and slopestyle skiing. And of course try and medal in both.