Dominant Logan earns spot in Sochi
Park City • Jerry Logan went back in time Friday. The Vermont native dusted off his red Mount Snow Resort hat, pushed an American flag pin into the left side of his cap and walked up the PayDay lift at Park City Mountain Resort to give his daughter Devin a snack.
"A banana like when she was a little kid," the elder Logan said, tears glazing over his eyes, "and just said, 'Go get it.' "
Devin Logan got it. She stamped her spot in Sochi. The 20-year-old freeskiing star who grew up learning flips and twists and rails at Mount Snow qualified for a spot on the women's slopestyle team three weeks away from the 2014 Olympic Games in Russia. These are the inaugural games for the sport of slopestyle, and Logan will be a part of a handful of athletes considered to be medal favorites.
After withstanding five skiers who took runs after her, Logan took a deep breath as she prepared to talk to reporters as a future Olympian. The laid-back youngster who could also qualify for the women's halfpipe team this weekend had a hard time putting the moment into perspective.
"I always dreamed of it," she said, "but didn't think it would happen this good and I can't wait to go [to Sochi] and represent the USA and hopefully bring home another podium for us."
The dream started as the youngest of five kids watching older brothers Chris and Sean learn and begin to perfect tricks. As a young skier, Logan envisioned a future as an Alpine skier, but the older brothers made sure they'd be heard. Logan began freeskiing slopestyle and halfpipe at 13, and by 15 she was on a national U.S. championship podium. In 2011, she won halfpipe bronze at the European X Games at age 17. Balancing two sports with Olympian aspirations is a lot of extra work; Logan said there are days when she has to coordinate training sessions with coaches and situations that feature 20-minute intervals between qualifiers.
"I had my reservations with it," Jerry Logan said. "I thought maybe she could be biting off more than she could chew, but hey, that's what she wanted. It keeps her motivated, it keeps her grounded and it's working."
But the road to Sochi hasn't been all smiles.
Logan blew her knee out in 2012 after winning the season-opening World Cup halfpipe stop in New Zealand. The Olympic qualifying period had just begun, but the Park City resident stayed busy. She rehabbed and even became a certified slopestyle judge to study the sport while her knee healed.
Her return to the park and pipe in 2013 has proved good enough for the Olympic team and for a chance to win gold in Sochi. And this weekend, she has a chance to clinch spots in both sports.
"The two aren't really different," Logan said. "If you can do a trick in the pipe, you can basically do it on the jumps as well you're just at a different axis starting off. They're very similar in my mind."
As Jerry Logan congratulated his daughter, he gave her a bear hug, delivered a kiss on the cheek, all the while sporting the red Mount Snow cap. That's where it all started.
"Devin really just broke through the glass ceiling with all this," he said.
Park City skier Alex Schlopy finally found his way back onto the podium Friday for the first time in three years with a win in the men's slopestyle finals. Having won gold at the FIS Freestyle Ski World Championships at his home course PCMR in 2011, Schlopy's bad luck finally ran out.
The 21-year-old now has to win Saturday's Freesking Grand Prix to clinch a spot in Sochi. If he finishes second or third, he'll need help.
"I'm just excited I finally got to put the run I've been wanting to put down for the past few seasons now," he said.
O Freeskiing Grand Prix at Park City Mountain Resort
1. Devin Logan, USA (87.40)
2. Dara Howell, CAN (87.00)
3. Kaya Turski, CAN (86.80)
4. Maggie Voisin, USA (86.60)
5. Julia Krass, USA (86.40)
1. Alex Schlopy, USA (92.20)
2. Bobby Brown, USA (91.80)
3. Gus Kenworthy, USA (91.40)
4. Joss Christensen, USA (90.60)
5. McCrae Williams, USA (90.20)
1. Maddie Bowman, USA (92.20)
2. Marie Martinod, FRA (89.80)
3. Anais Caradeux, FRA (84.80)
1. Kevin Rolland, FRA (94.40)
2. Alex Ferreira, USA (93.80)
3. Lyman Currier, USA (91.00)
O 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. •Â Women's slopestyle No. 2
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. •Â Men's slopestyle No. 2
4:55 p.m.-6 p.m. •Â Women's halfpipe No. 2
6:55 p.m.-8:30 p.m. •Â Men's halfpipe No. 2