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Spotlight on Stein Eriksen

Deer Valley Director of Skiing

The name “Stein Eriksen” is pretty familiar. You might know “Stein’s” as the internationally renowned luxury ski lodge mid-mountain at Deer Valley Resort. You might have made a few turns down “Stein’s Way” – a signature Deer Valley cruiser run. You might even know that Stein Eriksen is more than just a myth or legend – he’s an actual in-the-flesh local and Director of Skiing at Deer Valley Resort.

Many recognize Stein as a sort of figurehead, giving mountain tours at Deer Valley, participating in celebrity functions or special events and grabbing a bite to eat for lunch at his namesake lodge. But Stein left tracks in the annals of ski history long ago.

The name Stein Eriksen has been synonymous with style and elegance since his gold (giant slalom) and silver medal (slalom) victories in the 1952 Oslo Olympics. He also won three gold medals at the World Championships in Aare, Sweden in 1954 in slalom, giant slalom and the combined races, making him the first alpine skier in the world to win triple gold at a world championship.

A Norway native, Stein has lived in the United States for the last four decades. Prior to joining Deer Valley, he was involved in the development of the Park City Ski Area (now Park City Mountain Resort), which was formerly owned by Edgar Stern, who later built Deer Valley. Before coming to Park City, Eriksen spent four years as director of skiing and ski school director at Snowmass, Colorado, and four years as ski school director of Sugarbush, Vermont. He also served as ski school director and owned his own sport shop in Aspen, Colorado. From 1956 to 1958, he was ski school director for Heavenly Valley, California, having previously served in the same position at Boyne Mountain, Michigan from 1954 to 1956.

In 1997, Stein was awarded the Knight First Class honor by His Majesty the King of Norway as a reward for outstanding services in the interest of Norway, indicating his dedication to his home country. In recognition of his pioneering spirit and contribution to the early development of the ski industry, Stein received the Pioneer Award from the Intermountain Ski Areas Association (ISAA) in 1998. In 2002, while Deer Valley Resort is hosting the slalom, aerial and mogul events, Stein will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his 1952 Olympic medals.

Another interesting fact about Stein is that he was one of the grandfathers of freestyle skiing. Alan Engen, in his Utah ski history book, "For the Love of Skiing", writes: “The story of gelande jumping – in fact, the story of skiing – in Utah would not be complete without mentioning one of the world’s greatest champions – Stein Eriksen. Sun Valley Ski School invited Eriksen to come to America as a guest instructor. While there, he astounded the world with his unique Reverse-shoulder Technique and also by performing the first forward somersault with a full layout on skis. Although skiers had performed somersaults in earlier years, no one had combined it with a “swan dive” prior to Eriksen’s acrobatic feat. He may very well lay claim to being the father of the inverted aerials that we see in competition today. He was a fine acrobat/gymnast and in the 1950s and ‘60s could do things on skis that amazed the best athletes in the world.”

Stein splits his time between Park City and a home in Montana, and enjoys his family, wife Francoise, sons Bjorn and Stein Jr., daughters Julianne and Ava and four grandchildren.

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Stein Eriksen
Stein Eriksen

 

 

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