KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Devin Logan knows the lows of freestyle skiing. In 2012, a nasty fall obliterated her knee — a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus, plus two microfractures. She was patient, spent a year rehabilitating and somehow came back as good as ever. And now she knows the highest of highs, too, winning an Olympic silver medal in the ladies’ ski slopestyle event.
Logan, a 20-year old from West Dover, Vt., was all smiles after the competition as she waved the U.S. flag and howled with excitement.
Skiing eighth in the finals, Logan enjoyed a strong first run. She had no problem with the rails and went big on her jumps. She looked like a red, white and blue Swiss army knife, spinning through the mountain air, and for the most part, landed each jump nicely. The judges were impressed, awarding her a score of 85.40, which put her comfortably in first place for most of the first round — at least until Canada’s Dara Howell, the final skier of the round, wowed the crowd and put up a 94.20 to grab the lead at the competition’s midway point.
On her second run, Logan knew she had to go big but wasn’t as clean, and her score of 30.0 was well short of Howell’s gold medal-winning mark. On the last run of the day, Canadian Kim Lamarre wrapped up the bronze, posting a score of 85.0, just four-tenths of a point behind Logan.
Ski slopestyle — similar to the snowboard version of the event with a series of rails and big jumps — made its debut here at these Sochi Games. As Logan and her re-built knee can attest, it’s a high-flying and potentially dangerous sport. On Tuesday afternoon, Canada’s Yuki Tsubota stood in fifth place and was skiing for a medal when she suffered a nasty spill late in her final run. She was immediately surrounded by medical personnel and had to be carried off the course.
Logan was one of three Americans to reach 12-person finals. Keri Herman, 30, a two-time Winter X-Games silver medalist, posted a high score of 50.0 on her first run and finished the competition in 10th place. Her teammate, 16-year old Julia Krass, who is among the youngest Olympians in Sochi, also had a pair of tough runs. She posted a high-score 42.4 on her first run and finished the competition in 11th place.
Americans also took gold in both snowboard slopestyle competitions over the weekend with Sage Kotsenburg winning the men’s event and Jamie Anderson taking the women’s.