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Monday, December 28, 2015

Stein Eriksen

Utah’s own, Stein Eriksen has passed away. The following is from the Salt Lake Tribune:

Utah ski legend Stein Eriksen died Sunday at his home in Park City, surrounded by his family, Deer Valley Resort said in a statement. Eriksen was 88.

Known for decades for his impeccable style and panache on skis, Eriksen won the gold medal in giant slalom and the silver in slalom at the 1952 Winter Olympics in his hometown of Oslo, Norway. After winning three gold medals at the World Championships in Sweden in 1954, he immigrated to the United States, working in Colorado, Vermont, California and Michigan before helping to develop Park City Mountain Resort.

He then became director of skiing at Deer Valley, where he served in the role for more than 35 years. A five-star lodge at the resort is named in his honor.

People kind of step aside when they see him coming. They don't do that with other people," longtime friend Jim Gaddis said in 2009, himself as a national champion racer for the University of Utah. 

"They'll say, 'There goes Stein.' People want to watch him. It's just amazing."

Considered a founder of modern skiing, Eriksen developed a forward somersault that is credited as the forerunner of the inverted aerials performed by freestyle skiers today, the resort said.

Eriksen's "celebrity charisma created a special ambiance whether within the Lodge, our restaurant or out on the mountain, that was warm and inviting," said Dennis Suskind, president of Stein Eriksen Lodge, in the resort's statement. "He was a real friend and will be missed."

"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," said Bob Wheaton, Deer Valley president and general manager. "His influence in the ski industry and at this resort was infinite and his legacy will always be a fundamental aspect of Deer Valley."

Dear Stein, rest in peace.

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