November 10, 2012

Hometown reception awes Maine Olympic champion

U.S. rower Eleanor Logan returns to Boothbay Harbor for the first time since winning gold at the London Summer Olympics.

By Mike Lowe
Staff Writer

BOOTHBAY HARBOR — Eleanor Logan has traveled the world to row with the U.S. women's eight crew. She has won Olympic gold medals in Asia and in Europe.

click image to enlarge

Olympic gold medalist Elle Logan speaks Friday at a gathering of Boothbay Elementary School students.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Elle Logan

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

She has spent the last three months relaxing in Spain.

But, she discovered Friday afternoon, there truly is nothing like coming home.

Logan, 24, was honored by her hometown for her accomplishments, with a fire truck parade through the streets of Boothbay Harbor.

Later, she spoke to students at the Boothbay Elementary School and signed autographs for nearly an hour.

"It's pretty amazing to see how excited everyone gets," said Logan, who won gold medals in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the London Olympics this summer. "How they're always so enthusiastic and always have the most amazing support for me, even when I'm not aware of it.

"What other town would roll out seven fire trucks just to parade you around?" she said.

Logan is one of three Mainers with multiple Olympic gold medals.

Portland's Ian Crocker won three gold medals in swimming with the men's 400-meter medley relay team (and has five medals overall), and Carrabassett Valley's Seth Wescott has two gold medals in snowboardcross.

"It's awesome to be included in that group," said Logan. "But I think there is a lot more potential to have multiple Olympians in Maine."

Friday's parade started at the Common in Boothbay and followed Route 27 into downtown Boothbay Harbor. Logan basked in the midday sun atop the first fire truck with her cousin, Thomas Wilcox, and a longtime friend, Miranda Sherman.

Residents and business owners came out to wave American flags, or just to watch the young woman who attended school in town through the eighth grade.

Logan, who is 6 feet, 2 inches tall, played basketball with Sherman before transferring to the Brooks School in North Andover, Mass., for her freshman year of high school.

"She wanted to go to row," said Sherman. "Now look at her."

Thomas Woodin, Boothbay Harbor's town manager, said folks had asked him almost daily when they would celebrate Logan's latest gold medal.

"It's so wonderful to have a local girl who has done so well," Woodin said. "The whole peninsula is proud of her."

As are her family members, who lined up Friday in front of the House of Logan clothing store, owned by her aunt and uncle, Alex and Sarah Logan.

"It's an honor," said her father, Bill Logan. "It's touching that other people care about her achievements."

That was most obvious at the school, where Logan, who graduated from Stanford University in 2011, told about 350 students to pursue their dreams.

"This is pretty cool," she told them. "I grew up playing basketball here and going to all the classes you're in. It's cool to come back.

"I'll just say, if you want to do something, this is where it happens. Keep doing what you're doing," she said.

The students urged Logan to continue rowing for a shot at another gold medal, in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. For now, she's enjoying some down time.

Coach Tom Terhaar gave the team some time off after the Olympics. Logan spent that time relaxing in Spain, until she came home recently.

(Continued on page 2)

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