Devin Logan didn't know if she'd ever make it to the Olympics. It wasn't for lack of talent: The 20-year-old freeskier has racked up 12 podium finishes in her short career, including a bronze medal at the 2011 European X Games, first place at the 2012 Junior World Championships, and a silver medal at the 2012 Winter X Games.
But as a freeskier who competes in slopestyle and halfpipe, there wasn't ever a place for Devin or her fellow freeskiers at the Olympics, because those events weren't officially included in the Winter Games—until now. As part of Team USA's freeskiing team, Logan and eight other skiers will head to Sochi to compete for the first time in slopestyle (an obstacle course-type race wherein athletes are judged on the difficulty level of their tricks and compete at the same time) and halfpipe (athletes perform tricks while skiing on a halfpipe).
Devin’s road to Sochi hasn’t been an easy one. Like several pro American athletes, Logan’s recovering from a serious injury. Two days after winning the 2012 World Cup halfpipe event in New Zealand (the first qualifying event for the 2014 Olympics) in August, she blew out her knee doing a move called a cork 7 (a type of inversion). She tore her ACL and her meniscus, and also suffered two microfractures, which landed her on bed rest for more than seven weeks.
“I knew right away as soon as I landed that jump, I knew I had blown my knee,” Logan says. “They say you either feel a tear or hear a pop when you blow out your knee. I heard the pop and automatically, my head was just like, ‘No, no, no!’”
The entire season was shot. Instead of joining her friends on the road to compete, Logan spent the 2012-2013 season in rehab five days a week, working with physical therapists, trainers, and coaches to put together a customized program that would help her walk as quickly as possible. She worked out every day, focusing on upper-body strength. The whole time her family and friends were behind her, encouraging her never to give up.
“It was great to get that extra kick, because it gets lonely when you’re seeing all your friends going off skiing, and you’re still stuck on the couch,” Logan says.
Ultimately, months of dedicated rehab, Netflix-watching, and patience paid off: Devin returned to the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup halfpipe championships in August 2013 and won. Since then, she’s been crushing the competition, winning the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships this December in ski slopestyle and finishing sixth in the ski halfpipe event, and of course, she was named to the U.S. freeskiing Olympic team in early January. No doubt about it, people will be watching Logan.
In her own words, Logan is “stoked” to have the opportunity to compete at the Olympic level for the very first time.
“Once snowboard halfpipe joined the Olympics I knew it was only a matter of time before freeskiing got added,” Logan says. “That’s why I kept working so hard in both halfpipe and slopestyle—I knew one of them would get added and I want that opportunity to represent my country.” —Alanna Nuñez