Elle Loganby Elisa Hawkes
Coastal Journal staff
BOOTHBAY HARBOR — Boothbay Harbor resident Elle Logan went to London two weeks ago in search of gold. On Thursday, August 2, she and seven teammates won Olympic gold in the women’s eight rowing event, and a triumphant Elle will return to Boothbay Harbor, gold in hand.
She will not be returning to the midcoast, however, until sometime in early November, according to her father, Attorney Bill Logan of the Soule, Soule & Logan law firm in Wiscasset. Logan said his daughter will first spend some time visiting friends in Barcelona, Spain. After that, she plans to travel to Seattle. He does not know what Elle’s plans are when she returns to Boothbay Harbor.
The Olympic race took place on Dorney Lake in Windsor, England. The U.S. team won with a time of 6 minutes, 10.59 seconds, more than a full second ahead of second-place Canada and two minutes ahead of the third-place Netherlands. The team led from the start and ended a half-length ahead of Canada.
Bill said he knew the team had to start strong in the first 300 to 500 meters. After that the Canadians couldn’t catch them, according to Bill. He said the team was under more pressure in Beijing. This time, it felt as if they were very powerful. When they won, said Bill, if felt as if they did what they were supposed to do.
Bill said being in the stands when she won was emotional. It wasn’t just him and the American team members, however; Bill said relatives and friends of the teams from Canada and the Netherlands surrounded them, also. They were all proud of their athletes, all emotional about the triumph and culmination of work and sacrifice.
This is Elle Logan’s second Olympic gold medal, having acquired her first in the 2008 games in Beijing for the same event. The U.S. Eight team hasn’t lost a competitive race in six years.
Indeed, Elle is no stranger to the podium, having won first place in the World Championships in 2010 and 2011, and first in the World Cup in 2011 in the Eight. Elle came in second in the Four Woman race in 2009 at the World Championships and second in pairs at the World Cup in 2012.
Rowing was not always Elle’s sport of choice. As a child, she swam competitively, and won the 100m individual medley at the Maine State Championships in third grade. Elle played basketball at high school, helping her school to two state championships. At six feet two inches tall, it seemed the likely sport in which to participate. Elle also played tennis at high school. Her history teacher’s wife, who was the crew coach, suggested she try rowing, knowing her build would be perfect for the sport.
“My first practice was in San Diego for our winter training trip, and we went out in the eight [crew boat]. I remember thinking that I needed a seat belt, because I thought I was going to fall out of the boat.”
Elle has attained achievements outside of the sports arena also. A graduate of Stanford University in California, Elle speaks French as a second language. She still enjoys tennis and basketball, and likes to golf, go sailing, swimming, and dancing.
Bill said Elle was the only rower to be attending college and training at the same time. A history/economics major, Bill said her schedule was grueling. He said the experience in London became mostly about the race for her.
“She’s really tired,” Bill said. “She’s been rowing and going to school for years. This summer was the first time she wasn’t going to school and training. There is a level of fitness she had to keep even when she’s done competing in a major event. She still had to keep running, or other things.”
Elle’s philosophy for her sporting career is simple, “Don’t let the lows get too low or the highs get too high.” But with Olympic gold around her neck as she comes back to Boothbay Harbor, Elle’s feet must be pretty far above the ground.