Marcus Kleveland probably wouldn’t call himself a snowboarding prodigy, but we will.
Born in 1999 in the scenic ski resort town of Dombås, Norway, it wasn’t exactly a miracle that Kleveland ended up on a board. Still, his first time on the slopes wasn’t quite what he expected.
“My sister was snowboarding for fun, and I played a lot of video games,” Kleveland tells Men’s Fitness, so he naturally developed an interest. One day, along with his father, a three-year-old Kleveland went up to the mountain for the first time and quickly discovered that riding wasn’t as easy as pushing buttons on a controller. “I was super-stoked to ride until I figured out that it was way different than playing video games,” he says.
But that didn’t stop him. After about six months of skiing, Kleveland hopped back on a board and has “loved it ever since”.
Fast-forward to 2015, when he became the youngest-ever rider to land a “quad cork,” a dizzying trick with four inverted flips (here’s what that looks like). In 2017, he not only won big at the X-Games (taking home gold in the Slopestyle event and silver in Big Air), but also earned a “Rookie of the Year” nod from Snowboarder magazine.
Today, he’s got multiple big-name sponsors, like slopes-friendly lifestyle brand Volcom, and a track record of consistently nailing monster tricks that make him a serious contender for the Olympic podium.
From trampoline training to his essential gear, here’s how Kleveland is prepping for his first ride as an Olympian in PyeongChang. (Cue the Norwegian national anthem.)