Eleanor Logan is going to miss the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics again.

Oh, she’ll be in London on July 27 when the Summer Games open. Logan was named to the U.S. women’s eight crew last Friday, meaning she’ll be competing in her second Summer Olympics Games.

Logan was part of the U.S. women’s eight that won a gold medal in Beijing in 2008.

It’s just that the rowing competition begins on July 28. And Tom Terhaar, the coach of the U.S. women’s program, wants his rowers focused on the task ahead.

“It’s not just a one-hour bus ride (from the Olympic rowing venue to London),” said Terhaar. “It’s the five hours after. The only athletes who go to the Opening Ceremonies are the ones competing in the second week.

“We have to compete the next day. It’s a wonderful experience, but it’s just not worth the risk.”


And Logan, a Boothbay Harbor native, completely understands. She and her 2008 teammates, which included Anna Goodale of Camden, didn’t see the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing either.

“We have a job to do,” she said.

And this year, Logan’s job includes not only rowing but being a mentor of sorts. She’s only 24, but with years of international rowing experience. The women’s eight this year has three new rowers, all looking to the veterans — and that includes Logan — for advice on how to handle the Olympic pressure.

“They ask me questions,” she said. “They’re really excited about going. I remember what it was like four years ago. You do have to realize that this is a very unique experience and not many people get a chance to go.”

And Logan wants to have an even better experience this time around.

“I was like a deer in the headlights,” she said. “I was a little awed by everything. I was just kind of going along with everyone else.


“I rowed real hard.”

That has never been an issue for Logan. Terhaar has often referred to her as one of the team’s strongest rowers. She sits in Seat six, and Terhaar sees a much more polished rower this time around.

“She’s a lot more confident,” he said. “She’s a better rower and she’s much fitter. She’s made a lot of progress in the last four years.

“And it wasn’t always easy for her. She’s worked really hard, done all the things she’s had to do.”

After Beijing, Logan returned to Stanford to finish her undergraduate work, while rowing on the U.S. team in the summer. She graduated in 2011 with a degree in European History and returned to the U.S. team full-time afterward.

“So I’ve really only spent the last year training for this,” said Logan. “I really feel I’m just starting to get into my training regimen.”


That regimen has certainly added some power to her rowing.

“I do feel I have a lot more muscle than I did four years ago, when I was just a bit of a baby,” she said.

Logan spent much of this training season rowing in pairs with Erin Cafaro of Modesto, Calif. The two were so good, in fact, that they also qualified for the London Olympics in that event. But they declined the automatic berth to row in the eight.

“Pairs is a lot of fun,” said Logan. “And you learn a lot in them. A smaller boat, you can feel a lot more. Technically you learn to move a boat more.

“It’s really a lot greater training tool.”

Terhaar said team officials actually considered having Logan double-up at the Olympics, competing in both the pairs and eights. “We had done that before with other rowers,” he said. “We wanted to see how she handled the smaller boats. But in the end we decided not to do it.”


That doesn’t mean Logan isn’t capable of medaling in the smaller boat. She and Cafaro won the silver in both World Cup I and World Cup II this year.

“What she did in the World Cup this year gave her a taste of what she can do,” said Terhaar. “She’s got everything she needs to be good in every event, the pairs, quads, eights, whatever..”

The eight is where Logan wants to be right now. The U.S. is not only the defending goal medalist in the Olympics, but is the six-time defending world champion in the eight. Logan has been part of three of those teams, the first time as an alternate.

She wants the challenge of repeating as Olympic champ.

“Rowing is a power, endurance sport,” she said. “When you’re training, you want to make sure your body is peaking for the Olympics. The level of competition is always greatest at the Olympics. You train in a four-year cycle. The world championships are part of that training.

“Ever since the last Olympics, I wanted to be back in the eight. It’s going to be hard to win it again. Just because we’ve won six world championships in a row doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.”


Terhaar agrees,

“All that means is that it sounds good on paper,” he said. “It really doesn’t mean too much and we don’t get wrapped up in it too much.”

In addition to powerful competition, led by Canada and Romania, Terhaar said conditions at the venue, Eton Dorney, can be treacherous.

“Wind coming from all different directions,” he said. “It can be as hard as any venue in the world.”

After the London Games, Logan will take time to think about her future. She loves what she’s doing – “It’s not a glamorous lifestyle,” she said. “I live with a host family (in Princeton, N.J., site of the U.S. training center). I train all the time.” – and right now isn’t ready to give it up.

“Part of me wants to see how far I can go with this,” she said. “I feel I still have a lot to do with this sport. “

For now, she’s ready for another run at a gold medal.

“I’m feeling great,” she said. “It’s a little different this time, but it’s just as exciting.

“I’m going in knowing what’s coming a little more. And we all know what we want to do.”

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