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.
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.
She said she will leave soon to train in Seattle for a couple of weeks, then come home for the holidays and “hopefully to ski a little bit.”
In January, she will rejoin her Team USA teammates in San Diego for a two-week camp. From there?
“To be determined,” she said.
She’s looking at Rio, but may want to row in a smaller boat. She has had success in pairs, qualifying for the London Olympics in that event after earning silver medals in two World Rowing Cup races this year.
“I still feel there’s room to grow as an athlete,” she said. “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. But maybe I could play around with it for a few years.”
Asked how two gold medals have changed her life, Logan said they really haven’t.
“I’m the same person,” she said. “Nothing has changed about me, but it has opened doors. I realize that I do have an opportunity to have an impact on people. And that’s a direction I could take.”
Her mother, Jennifer Kierstead, can’t wait to see what’s next.
“She is phenomenal,” said Kierstead. “It’s really maybe odd to be in awe of one’s own daughter, but I am in awe of Eleanor. She has taken everything that has come her way and turned it into two Olympic gold medals.”
Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: