Stein Eriksen

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Stein Eriksen
  Alpine skier  
Stein Eriksen 1952.jpg
Eriksen at the 1952 Olympics
Disciplines Downhill, 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)

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.

Alpine skiing skiing variation

Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the pastime of sliding down snow-covered slopes on skis with fixed-heel bindings, unlike other types of skiing, which use skis with free-heel bindings. Whether for recreation or sport, it is typically practised at ski resorts, which provide such services as ski lifts, artificial snow making, snow grooming, restaurants, and ski patrol.

Alpine skiing at the Winter Olympics

Alpine skiing has been contested at every Winter Olympics since 1936, when a combined event was held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

Ski school an establishment that teaches skiing, typically in a ski resort

A ski school is an establishment that teaches skiing, typically in a ski resort. The modern version of the ski school was invented by the Austrian ski pioneer Hannes Schneider in the early 1920s when he formalized instruction methods and established these methods as teaching principles for all ski instructors at his school.



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]

Emil Marius Eriksen was a Norwegian gymnast who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Royal Norwegian Air Force Air warfare branch of Norways armed forces

The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian Armed Forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peacetime establishment is approximately 2,430 employees. 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF. After mobilization the RNoAF would consist of approximately 5,500 personnel.

Sports career

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. [4]

The men's alpine skiing giant slalom event was part of the alpine skiing at the 1952 Winter Olympics programme. It was the first appearance of the event at the Olympics. The competition was held on Friday, 15 February 1952 at Norefjell ski area and started at 1 p.m..

The men's slalom at the 1952 Winter Olympics was held on Tuesday 19 February at Rødkleiva ski run. The course was very difficult to maintain as the weather was not favorable. The men's course had 52 gates. Since the men's race was scheduled the day before the women's, and there was concern about the condition of the hill, the number of racers was reduced after the first run in compliance with international rules. Twenty-nine athletes finished both runs. Four athletes were disqualified after the first run. Austrian Othmar Schneider won his second Olympic medal, this time gold, after he took the silver in the downhill competition. Norwegians Stein Eriksen and Guttorm Berge placed second and third respectively.

Alps major mountain range system in Central Europe

The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, separating Southern from Central and Western Europe and stretching approximately 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) across eight Alpine countries : France, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,810 m (15,781 ft) is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).

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 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 gymnast background and his skiing, Stein would demonstrate a flip on skis. For his Olympic medals, Eriksen earned the Holmenkollen Medal in 1952. [5]

Freestyle skiing is a skiing discipline comprising aerials, moguls, cross, half-pipe and slopestyle as part of the Winter Olympics. It can consist of a skier performing aerial flips and spins, and can include skiers sliding rails and boxes on their skis. It is also commonly referred to as freeskiing, jibbing, as well as many other names around the world.

Sugarbush Resort

Sugarbush Resort is a ski resort located in the Mad River valley in Warren, Vermont. It is one of the largest ski resorts in New England. The resort encompasses more than 4000 acres (16 km²) total, 484 trail acres (2.34 km²) skiable, 53 miles (85 km) of trails, and 16 ski lifts. Sugarbush has 111 ski trails, 18 additional marked wooded area, substantial off-piste skiing and riding, a summit elevation of 4,083 ft (1,244 m), and a vertical drop of 2,600 feet (790 m), second largest in Vermont after Killington, and the third largest in New England after Killington and Sugarloaf.

Vermont State of the United States of America

Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders the U.S. states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. Vermont is the second-smallest by population and the sixth-smallest by area of the 50 U.S. states. The state capital is Montpelier, the least populous state capital in the United States. The most populous city, Burlington, is the least populous city to be the most populous city in a state. As of 2015, Vermont was the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States. It was ranked as the safest state in the country in 2016.

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 States

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 Françoise and had five children: Julianna Eriksen, Ava, Stein Jr., Anja and Bjørn. He called both Utah and Montana home.

Sun Valley, Idaho City in Idaho, United States

Sun Valley is a resort city in Blaine County, Idaho, United States. The resort is adjacent to the city of Ketchum and within the greater Wood River valley. The population was 1,406 at the 2010 census, down from 1,427 in 2000. The elevation of Sun Valley is 5,920 feet (1,805 m) above sea level. Scheduled passenger airline service is available via the Friedman Memorial Airport located in nearby Hailey, approximately 15 miles (25 km) south. Visitors to Sun Valley are relatively close to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, accessed over Galena Summit on State Highway 75, the Sawtooth Scenic Byway.

Pine Knob

Pine Knob is a hill located in Independence Township, in Oakland County, near Clarkston, Michigan. The hill is classified as a summit.

Heavenly Mountain Resort ski resort in California, USA

Heavenly Mountain Resort is a ski resort located on the California–Nevada border in South Lake Tahoe. It opened for business on December 15, 1955 and has 97 runs and 30 lifts that are spread between California and Nevada and four base facilities. The resort has 4,800 acres (1,900 ha) within its permit area, with approximately 33% currently developed for skiing, boasting the highest elevation of the Lake Tahoe area resorts with a peak elevation of 10,067 ft (3,068 m), and a peak lift-service elevation of 10,040 ft (3,060 m).

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]

World championship results

  Year   Age  Slalom Giant
1948 20 29 not runnot 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.svg

  Year   Age  Slalom Giant
1948 20 29 not runnot run 31 46
1952 24 2 1 6 not run

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  1. 1 2 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.
Preceded by
Sverre Strandli
Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year
Succeeded by
Hjalmar Andersen
Preceded by
Sverre Strandli
Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year
Succeeded by
Audun Boysen