Erling Stordahl

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Erling Stordahl (1923 – 1994) was a Norwegian farmer and singer.

He is best known for the around 120 songs he recorded throughout 17 years from 1951 together with Gunnar Engedahl. They met at the Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted, and made their first hit as a duo in 1951, produced by Odeon.

Erling Stordahl claimed the family line of Norway's King Magnus the Blind. His cultural leadership continued after his recording career. He raised the money to found the Beitostølen Health Sports Center, for the handicapped children and adults of Europe, in one evening telethon, a part of the Norwegian Red Feather campaign. He also founded the Stordahl Center for Art and Culture, and presided as chair of the United Nations' International Year for the Handicapped.

The yearly Ridderrennet at Beitostølen in Norway was also established by Erling Stordahl. When Ridderrennet traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota, Stordahl inspired the blind cross country skier Diane Ziegler, who founded the Association for Blind Living and Education (ABLE), Out of Sight Clubs, and celebrity fashion shows for the blind and sighted. Stordahl's approach to recreation for the handicapped was also a model for the Sons of Norway Ski for Light program brought to the United States by Olav Pedersen.

References[edit]

  • Reed G: Beitostolen, Shangri la for the handicapped. The Physician and Sportsmedicine. November, 1978, pages 146 to 150.
Awards
Preceded by
Erik Bye
Recipient of the Peer Gynt Prize
1975
Succeeded by
Øivind Bergh
Preceded by
Sonja Hagemann
Recipient of the Norsk kulturråds ærespris
1981
Succeeded by
Halldis Moren Vesaas