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Devin Logan wins silver for U.S. in women's slopestyle skiing

Devin Logan of the United States competes in

Devin Logan of the United States competes in the Freestyle Skiing Women's Ski Slopestyle Qualification on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Credit: Getty Images / Cameron Spencer

Devin Logan's long, tough journey to the Olympic silver-medal podium Tuesday began long before she realized that was where she was headed. When she was only 2, she was in the family car, heading to Vermont every weekend from Long Island for ski trips.

"We all really enjoyed it," said her older brother Chris, who is a professional skier and skiing filmmaker. "We didn't see any of this stuff happening. It sure worked out for Devin."

Chris and his older brother Sean, who were Devin's de facto coaches throughout her life, were up in the middle of the night in Idaho (where they are working), watching the live stream of their 20-year-old little sister in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. They saw her win silver in the inaugural women's ski slopestyle final. "We're all super fired up," Chris said.

They tried to call her right away but couldn't get through to Russia, where their mother, Nancy, was the only family member with the Olympian. "But she gave us a call back in the morning," Chris said, adding that they got to see her face through an Internet connection. "She was smiling from ear to ear."

He added: "She was really, really happy. It was a case of a loss for words."

Devin also told reporters she was "speechless" after her score of 85.40 beat everyone except Canada's Dara Howell (94.20). The Long Island native completed her comeback from knee surgery while competing on a course made slushy by the warm temperature. After she finished, she did say that, after watching the rest of the Winter Games, she will celebrate her 21st birthday (which is Monday) by going to Las Vegas and getting a tattoo.

"I mean, it's my first Olympic medal," she said at the site.

Before the Olympics, she got a tattoo on her right forearm, depicting mountains under six snowflakes representing her parents, Nancy and Jerry (the latter still lives in North Babylon), and her four siblings (older sisters Nicki and Shannon as well as the brothers). Underneath were the words "Don't fear the journey."

Chris couldn't help but remember the car rides to recreational family skiing trips, first from a home in Baldwin, then from Oceanside. The younger three children were intrigued and excited by watching moguls competitors. "We thought, 'This is cool,' " he said.

Before long, the brothers and Devin realized that they were good enough to compete themselves in the emerging, dynamic sport of freestyle skiing.

Sean led the way and Chris followed. While the latter was a star quarterback at Oceanside High School, he would spend winter months in Vermont training. By the time Devin had finished middle school in Oceanside, training programs had become more sophisticated and intense. So she moved full time with her mother to West Dover, Vt.

Family members recall that she was always a tough competitor, playing youth football on a boys team in Baldwin. Fact is, she had no choice. She told The Boston Globe this week, "My brothers wanted a little brother, so they treated me that way. I give all the credit to them."

"We didn't go easy on her," Chris said with a laugh. "Tough love is what you'd call it. It made her strong. Whatever it was, she saw us doing it and she wanted to do it."

They were supportive, too, especially in 2012 when she was recovering from a torn ACL. On Tuesday, they graduated from supportive to ecstatic.

With AP

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