Bellingham transplant Eleanor Logan rowed her way into the history books last month during the Rio Olympics, as she became the first female rower in U.S. history to win three gold medals.
Logan, originally from Boothbay, Maine, helped the U.S. women’s eight crew win in a comeback on Aug. 13.
The U.S. was third midway through the 2,000-meter race, but by the time the boats reached 1,500 meters, the Americans were in the lead and never looked back. The U.S. finished in 6 minutes, 1.49 seconds, 2.49 seconds ahead of silver medalist Great Britain, which was the largest margin of victory. The U.S. also turned in the best time of the last three Olympic gold medal winners.
“I’m lucky to be a part of that group,” Logan said. “We just tried to be the best we could be on the final day, and I’m happy that we did that.”
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Logan’s first two gold medals came in Beijing in 2008, while she was a student at Stanford University, and in London in 2012, a year after she graduated. This year, she was named to the Pacific-12 Conference Women’s Rowing All-Century Team.
She said Rio was different because she took on more of a leadership role with the team and she was more aware of how much the Olympics mean to people.
“I knew more about the pressure you’re under at the Olympics this time around,” Logan said. “I focused more on being the best teammate and the best athlete.”
This was the Americans’ 11th straight major international victory, stretching back to the 2006 World Championships.
Despite reports that water-sport venues were unhealthy, Logan said this was “more of a concern for the media than the athletes.”
After the race, Logan announced that Rio would be her final Olympics.
She said she is looking forward to living in Bellingham with her husband, Carlos Dinares, owner of RP3 Rowing, which he runs out of their home at the Lake Samish Training Center.
“I’m going to press the reset button, but I’ll keep rowing because I love it,” Logan said.