Sunday, December 8, 2013
By Mike Lowe firstname.lastname@example.org
Eleanor Logan has never been one to talk much.
Eleanor Logan of Boothbay Harbor, fourth from left with arm raised, celebrates with her teammates Thursday as coxswain Mary Whipple gets tossed into the water following a gold-medal victory in the women’s eight rowing event at the Olympics. It was a repeat gold for the team.
The Associated Press
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The Boothbay Harbor native has always shied from the spotlight, preferring to let the other members of the U.S. women's eight crew speak after competitions.
That may have to change.
The U.S. women's eight won their second consecutive gold medal Thursday at the London Games, putting Logan into some elite company.
By winning her second Olympic gold medal -- Logan was also a member on the gold-medal crew in Beijing in 2008 -- the 24-year-old Logan became just the third Mainer to win multiple Olympic golds.
Portland's Ian Crocker won three golds while swimming on 400 medley relay teams in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Seth Wescott of Carrabassett Valley has two gold medals in snowboardcross (2006 and 2010). Crocker, who no longer swims competitively, remains Maine's most decorated Olympian with five overall medals, adding a silver in the 100 butterfly (2004) and a bronze in the 400 freestyle relay (2004).
Logan was celebrating with her family and unavailable for comment. But before she ventured into London's nightlife to share her latest triumph with the 20 or so members of the group that crossed the Atlantic to watch her, she took to Twitter to let everyone know how proud she was of the medal.
"I love my team and I love the support from all my friends, family, and everyone!! Could not have done it without u," she tweeted.
Contacted on Twitter later, Logan was asked to compare the taste of her latest medal -- a photo was transmitted showing Logan and her teammates biting down on their medals following the awards ceremony -- to that of the one she earned in Beijing.
Her reply: "even sweeter maybe!?!"
Logan knows what went into winning this medal. Since winning in Beijing, she finished her education at Stanford (graduating in 2011 with a degree in European history) while also training with the U.S. team.
She joined the team in Princeton, N.J., full time after graduation and really had only one year to train for this Olympic moment.
That's why, in the minutes after the race, she said to one U.S. Rowing official, "I feel great. It's been a lot of hard work to get here."
The work began to pay off at Dorney Lake in 2006, when the U.S. won the world championship, and it was never in doubt in Thursday's final.
Racing in a fierce crosswind, the U.S. led from start to finish to win in 6 minutes, 10.59 seconds.
They ended a half-length ahead of a fast-finishing Canadian crew that has come close this year to breaking the American stranglehold on the event.
In May, the Canadians lost out by only three-hundredths of a second and they qualified for the Olympic final with a faster time in the heats.
But they left their charge for gold too late.
"Coming off the line, I felt so much," said Mary Whipple, coxswain for Team USA.
"And then when we took our stride, that was beautiful. We were a little high and I just told them to breathe and enjoy the moment. Feel each stroke. Be present. And we were present -- the whole time. It was magical."
The Americans' only previous Olympic gold in the event came at Los Angeles in 1984.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.