By PAT GRAHAM
2014-02-11 10:01 PM
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) -- Devin Logan had "the look" in the starting gate, the one described as her "eye of the tiger" gaze.
Bopping to the music blaring from her headphones, even dancing a little bit, Logan was so transfixed that U.S. freestyle coach Mike Jankowski knew it meant only one thing -- something big was about to go down.
She slithered and soared through the soft, slushy course Tuesday at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, landing just about every trick on her way to a silver medal in the Olympic debut of women's ski slopestyle.
Canada's Dara Howell won with a score of 94.2 in what she called the "best run I've ever done in my entire life."
Logan definitely knows the feeling.
"That couldn't have felt any better," said Logan, whose run scored 85.4. "I'm really happy with my skiing."
It was almost as if she knew exactly what the judges were looking for on her run.
Maybe that's because she does.
Logan spent last season learning how to judge slopestyle events and overseeing some contests. She had nothing else to do as she recovered from a right knee injury in which she tore her ACL and meniscus.
"They want to see technical rail skills," said Logan, of West Dover, Vt. "And then different grabs, left and right spinning, switch spinning and going big and holding your grabs and looking as clean as possible."
So she gave the judges just that, with her own style thrown in. She thought her score was fitting, too, but wouldn't say otherwise even if she didn't think so.
Not after sitting on that side of the table.
"It's very difficult, because you only got one chance to see a run," said Logan, who turns 21 on Monday and plans to celebrate with a trip to Las Vegas. "You don't get any replays. You have however long our run takes to put down all the notes you can see."
She definitely felt Howell's score was correct, especially after landing a switch-900, which is essentially 2 1/2 spins off axis.
"Dara had the sickest run of the day," Logan said.
Hers wasn't too shabby, either.
"When I saw her in the start, I could tell she's in the right place, the right mind set," Jankowski said. "She turns her music up, and she gets a sway going, her shoulders.
"But her eyes stay focused on where she's about to go. She comes off as pretty loose and mellow, but at the same time she has that eye of the tiger."
Now, with reason to celebrate, she's eyeing something else -- a tattoo. It won't be of the Olympic rings, either, and she said her mom is "not too happy."
Logan's mother, Nancy, was at the venue to watch her compete, even though she wasn't initially planning on making it to Sochi.
"But I kind of persuaded her to," Logan said. "She hasn't seen me ski for two years now (because of work).
"I get my craziness from her. I wasn't even crying," Logan said. "But the emotions, when you see your mom, just come out. It makes me cry and just experiencing this, all the all the long hours and sacrifices she put in. Hopefully, I make her proud."