Stein Eriksen

Stein Eriksen (11 December 1927 – 27 December 2015) was an alpine ski racer and Olympic gold medalist from Norway.[2] Following his racing career, he was a ski school director and ambassador at various resorts in the United States.

Stein Eriksen
Alpine skier
Stein Eriksen 1961.jpg
Eriksen in 1961
DisciplinesDownhill, Giant Slalom,
Slalom, Combined
Born(1927-12-11)11 December 1927
Oslo, Norway[1]
Died27 December 2015(2015-12-27) (aged 88)
Park City, Utah, U.S.
Retired1954 (age 26)
Teams2 – (1948, 1952)
Medals2 (1 gold)
World Championships
Teams4 – (1948, 1950, 1952, 1954)
    includes Olympics
Medals6 (4 gold)
Medal record
Representing  Norway
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1952 Oslo Giant Slalom
Silver medal – second place 1952 Oslo Slalom
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1954 Åre Slalom
Gold medal – first place 1954 Åre Giant slalom
Gold medal – first place 1954 Åre Combined
Bronze medal – third place 1950 Aspen Slalom


Eriksen was born 11 December 1927, in Oslo.[3] His 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.[1]

Sports careerEdit

Eriksen at the 1952 Olympics

Eriksen won the gold medal in the giant slalom at the 1952 Winter Olympics, which was 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.[4]

Other accomplishments included being credited with devising "aerials", a freestyle skiing event, and helping revolutionize the world of alpine skiing in the United States, where he served as a ski instructor at many different ski schools. At Sugarbush Resort in Vermont, each Sunday afternoon, combining his gymnastics background and his skiing, Stein would demonstrate a flip on skis. For his Olympic medals, Eriksen earned the Holmenkollen Medal in 1952.[5]

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".[6]

Life in the United StatesEdit

Shortly after his success in the 1952 Olympics, Eriksen moved to the United States where he lived until his death. While ski racing for Norway, he was a ski instructor at Sun Valley in Idaho.[7] Following his racing career, he was the ski school director at various resorts, such as Boyne Mountain and Pine Knob,[8] both in Michigan,[9] Sugarbush in Vermont, Heavenly Valley in California, Snowmass and Aspen in Colorado, and Park City in Utah.[10] At the time of his death he was the director of skiing at the Deer Valley Resort in Utah, and also served as host of the Stein Eriksen Lodge, a ski lodge in Deer Valley (not owned by Eriksen, but named in his honor). Eriksen was married to Gerrysue Eriksen then to Françoise and had five children: Julianna Eriksen, Ava, Stein Jr., Anja and Bjørn. He called 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.[11] He died on 27 December 2015, sixteen days after his 88th birthday, in his Park City, Utah home.[12]

Major championship resultsEdit

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

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


  1. ^ a b Stein Eriksen.
  2. ^ Stein Eriksen Per Jorsett. Norsk biografisk leksikon
  3. ^ Schudel, Matt (1 January 2016). "Stein Eriksen, Olympic champion who helped popularize skiing, dies at 88". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  4. ^ Lorentz, Karen. "Skiing Icon honored by the New England Ski Museum". Snow East Magazine
  5. ^ Holmenkollen medalists.
  6. ^ ''Stein Eriksen'' (Rolf Bryhn. Store norske leksikon). Retrieved on 11 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Red Dog Reddish hired as Sun Valley mentor". Deseret News. United Press. 25 September 1952. p. 19A.
  8. ^ MILSAP | MIchigan Lost Ski Areas Project. Retrieved on 11 September 2016.
  9. ^ "Eriksen given AT&T award". Deseret News. 21 December 1989. p. 4D.
  10. ^ "Stein Eriksen on for Park City ski". Deseret News. 27 August 1971. p. 4D.
  11. ^ Stein Eriksen the Olympic Gold Medalist from Norway (Stein Eriksen Lodge) Archived 15 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Stein Eriksen, skiing pioneer, dies at 88 in Park City home. (27 December 2015). Retrieved on 2016-09-11.

External linksEdit

Preceded by Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year
Succeeded by
Preceded by Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year
Succeeded by