Park City, UT – In July, the Alf Engen Ski Museum, located inside the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, has unveiled an exhibit filled with artifacts loaned by Stein Eriksen’s son Bjorn Eriksen, honoring the life of late ski legend.
The new Stein Eriksen exhibit was made possible by Stein Eriksen Lodge and Deer Valley Resort, where Eriksen served as director of skiing since the resort’s opening in 1981. As an integral part of the Stein Eriksen Lodge and Deer Valley families, Eriksen’s influence in the ski industry and the resort he called home left a lasting legacy. Eriksen, described by Ski History Magazine as “the most famous skier of his generation,” passed away December 27, 2015, at his Park City home at age 88.
“Stein Eriksen has been synonymous with skiing style and elegance for more than half a century,” said David Vandehei, chairman of the Alf Engen Ski Museum board of directors. “The first alpine skier to win triple gold at a world championship, an Olympic Gold Medalist and ambassador and father of freestyle skiing, Eriksen parlayed all that he knew and loved about the sport into an incredible career that spanned almost six decades and changed the face of alpine skiing worldwide. We are honored to feature him at the museum.”
Born December 11, 1927, Eriksen originally gained fame through competition at the 1952 Oslo Olympic Winter Games, where he took the gold and silver medals in the giant slalom and slalom events, respectively. Two years later he went on to win three gold medals at the World Championships in Åre, Sweden in 1954, making him the first alpine skier to win the world championship “triple gold.” Shortly thereafter, Eriksen’s inimitable style and captivating personality garnered him the attention of the news media and friendship of the Hollywood elite. His status was enhanced by his spectacular forward somersault, an aerial maneuver credited as the forerunner of the inverted aerials performed by freestyle skiers today.
A native of Norway, Eriksen lived in the United States for the last four decades. Prior to joining Deer Valley Resort, he was involved in the development of the Park City Mountain Resort, then Park City Ski Area. Among his numerous awards and honors, Eriksen was awarded the Knight First Class honor in 1997 by His Majesty the King of Norway as a reward for outstanding service in the interest of Norway, indicating his dedication to his home country. His contribution to the world of sports and his commitment to the people of his homeland also earned him the Royal Order of Merit. 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. Eriksen was inducted in the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame in 2003. He served as an Olympic Ambassador at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, which took place at his home mountain of Deer Valley Resort and coincided with the 50th Anniversary of his Olympic medals.