Stein Eriksen

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Stein Eriksen
— Alpine skier —
27308 Stein Eriksen.jpg
Eriksen in 1960
Disciplines Downhill, Giant Slalom,
Slalom, Combined
Born (1927-12-11) 11 December 1927 (age 86)
Oslo, Norway
Retired 1954 (age 26)
Olympics
Teams 2 – (1948, 1952)
Medals 2 (1 gold)
World Championships
Teams 4 – (1948, 1950, 1952, 1954)
    includes Olympics
Medals 6 (4 gold)

Stein Eriksen (born 11 December 1927) is a former alpine ski racer and Olympic gold medalist from Norway.[1] Following his racing career, he was a ski school director and ambassador at various resorts in the United States.

Background[edit]

Born in Oslo, Eriksen's parents were Marius Eriksen (1886–1950) and Birgit Heien (1900–1996). Marius Eriksen competed in the 1912 Olympic Games as a gymnast. His brother, Marius Eriksen, Jr. (1922–2009), was an alpine skier and during World War II became a fighter ace in the Royal Norwegian Air Force. Stein Eriksen was the top slalom racer in Norway in 1949 and took bronze in the slalom at the 1950 World Championships in Aspen, Colorado.

Sports career[edit]

Eriksen won the gold medal in the giant slalom at the 1952 Winter Olympics, which were held in Oslo, Norway. He also won a silver medal in the slalom. Eriksen was the first male alpine ski racer from outside the Alps to win an Olympic gold medal. He also won three gold medals at the 1954 World Championships in Åre, Sweden.[2]

Some of his other accomplishments include the fact that he is credited with devising "aerials", a freestyle skiing event, and he helped revolutionize the world of alpine skiing, especially in America, where he has served as a ski instructor at many different ski schools. At Sugarbush, each Sunday afternoon, combining his gymnast background and his skiing, Stein would demonstrate a flip on skis. For his Olympic medals, Eriksen earned the Holmenkollen Medal in 1952.[3]

It is said that Eriksen was skiing's "first superstar", since he was handsome, stylish, and charismatic. Despite his fame, he maintained a very down-to-Earth personality. For example, he is quoted as saying, "Be tough, be confident. But you will never be a whole and happy person if you aren't humble".[4]

Life in the US[edit]

Shortly after his success in the 1952 Olympics, Eriksen moved to America where he continues to live. While ski racing for Norway, he was a ski instructor at Sun Valley in Idaho.[5] Following his racing career, he was the ski school director at various resorts, such as Boyne Mountain in Michigan,[6] Sugarbush in Vermont, Heavenly Valley in California, Snowmass and Aspen in Colorado, and Park City in Utah.[7] He is currently director of skiing at the Deer Valley in Utah, and also serves as host of the Stein Eriksen Lodge, a ski lodge in Deer Valley (not owned by Eriksen, but named in his honor). Eriksen is married to Francoise and has five children: Julianna Eriksen, Ava, Stein Jr. Anja, and Bjørn. He currently calls both Utah and Montana home.

In 1997, Eriksen was honored by the King of Norway. He was knighted with the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for his contribution to Norway, the highest honor that the Norwegian government can give to people living outside Norway.

Eriksen celebrated his 80th birthday December 2007 in Deer Valley.[8]

World championship results[edit]

  Year    Age   Slalom  Giant
 Slalom 
Super-G Downhill Combined
1948 20 29 not run not run 31 46
1950 22 3 - DNF not run
1952 24 2 1 6
1954 26 1 1 8 1

From 1948 through 1980, the Winter Olympics were also the World Championships for alpine skiing.

Olympic results Olympic rings with white rims.svg[edit]

  Year    Age   Slalom  Giant
 Slalom 
Super-G Downhill Combined
1948 20 29 not run not run 31 46
1952 24 2 1 6 not run

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Sverre Strandli
Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year
1951
Succeeded by
Hjalmar Andersen
Preceded by
Sverre Strandli
Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year
1954
Succeeded by
Audun Boysen