The 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia – that’s the goal. Though still in his young 20s, Mikkel Bang sees the Olympics and the chance to represent his country, Norway, as the ultimate bookend to his decorated competitive career. To march into the Opening Ceremony, to wave the flag, to live in the Olympic Village – he can’t help but smile that toothy grin at the thought. But that’s two years out. He has a lot on his calendar between now and then. There’s X Games and the challenge of an allusive Gold (he’s twice won Bronze); competing and qualifying for the national team; and continuing to build his international profile. After that, filming, searching for fresh pow, and conquering bigger and bigger mountains the world over a la Jake Blauvelt.
Despite his laidback demeanor, the 6’1", tattooed Norwegian has officially planted some pressure on his broad shoulders. When times get tense, though, he’ll pull out his acoustic guitar and strum some chords. Oh, yes, Mikkel has an artsy side. In fact, he has the body ink to prove it. Those three shows he played with his short-lived band resulted in the band’s logo being permanently planted on his derriere.