RIP Stein Eriksen, the Father of Freestyle Skiing & 1st to Flip on Skis

Miles Clark | | Industry NewsIndustry News

Legendary skier Stein Eriksen passed away in his home in Park City, UT surrounded by his family yesterday.  He was 88-years-old.

Stein won the gold and silver medals in the giant slalom and slalom at the 1952 Oslo Winter Olympics.  In 1954 he won three gold medals at the world championships in Are, Sweden.

Stein Eriksen
Stein Eriksen.  photo:  tony gauba

Stein was considered the father of freestyle skiing.  This guy was throwing front flips and backflips for the camera before anyone else.  He’s recorded as the first skier to throw flips.  Stein brought huge amounts of sexiness to skiing with his tricks and antics.

Stein immigrated to the USA in 1954 working in Colorado, Vermont, California and Michigan before settling in Park City to help develop the ski resort there.

Stein Eriksen swan dive front flip.
Stein Eriksen swan dive front flip.  photo:  tony gauba

He then became director of skiing at Deer Valley and remained in that role for over 35 years and created the only 5-star resort in Deer Valley called Stein Eriksen Lodge.

“Stein has been an integral part of the Deer Valley family since the resort’s inception and his presence on the mountain will be profoundly missed.  His influence in the ski industry and at this resort was infinite and his legacy will always be a fundamental aspect of Deer Valley.”- Bob Wheaton, Deer Valley president and general manager

Stein Eriksen flipping over the Maroon Bells in CO.
Stein Eriksen flipping over the Maroon Bells in CO.  photo:  tony gauba

Stein was born in Norway in on December 11th, 1927.  He grew up ski jumping near his home.  His father, Marius, was one of Norway’s ski jumping champion and gymnast in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.  His mom was the first president of the Ladies’ Slalom Club of Oslo

My father once met Stein at Bear Valley ski resort in California.  Stein said “how nice it is for you to meet me.”  Funny guy.

Stein Eriksen
Stein Eriksen.  photo: tony gauba
Stein Eriksen hucking.
Stein Eriksen hucking.  photo:  tony gauba

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