Wednesday, May 18

Double Norwegian in X Games: – I did not expect this

Marcus Kleveland took the fifth X Games gold of his career, when he topped the Knuckle Huck competition in Aspen.

FLYED HIGH: Marcus Kleveland, here during slopestyle training earlier this week, secured X Games gold in Knuckle Huck.

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– I did not expect this at all! I just cruised and had fun, Kleveland said right after the victory the board association.

Fridtjof Sæther Tischendorf made sure that it became double Norwegian.

– Seeing the two of them together on the podium is great fun. It is absolutely incredible what they do, it does not make sense, says coach Marius Håker to VG.

In Knuckle Huck, athletes must do tricks without using the jumps.

– It is perhaps the competition that is most show. It went from being a bonus event to being among the main attractions, says Håker.

Tischendorf won the competition the first time it was held in 2019, while Kleveland won the Knuckle Huck competition in Norway in 2020. Kleveland also has two slopestyle golds and one big air gold.

On Saturday, slopestyle and big air await Kleveland. In the slopestyle competition, he gets Mons Røisland and Ståle Sandbech, while the latter is above the big air competition.

– Marcus participates in all the competitions, X Games probably wants him to win everything, so he becomes historic. Of course, I do not mind, says coach Håker, and adds that he will have tough competition.

After the X Games, the trip goes to China and the Olympics in Beijing.

– X Games is one of this year’s big events, so we went here even though it is close to the Olympics. These guys step into every competition, but they are also experts at figuring out when things can go wrong. Of course injuries can happen, but these guys are so good that I’m not worried about it, says the coach.

– What is the goal in the Olympics?

– We hope for two medals, but it would of course have been fun with even more as well.

– What’s biggest? X Games or Olympics?

– The Olympics are probably higher than the X Games now. Snowboarding has been taken into the Olympic heat, and has become a bigger part of the snowboarding culture. These athletes are very well known outside Norway, but the Olympics are the opportunity to get properly on the map in Norway.

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