Tribute to Stein Eriksenby Representative Jason Chaffetz
Posted on 2016-01-05
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Mr. CHAFFETZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor an Olympic gold
medalist, pioneering athlete and legendary skiing ambassador who had an
immeasurable impact on the sport and on the State of Utah. Stein
Eriksen passed away December 27 at the age of 88 following a long and
For 35 years, Eriksen served as the Director of Skiing at Utah's famed Deer Valley Resort, where the renowned Stein Eriksen Lodge was named in his honor.
His ski career began in 1947 when the 19-year-old Norwegian athlete won the downhill and combination event at the Holmenkollen Kandahar event. At the 1952 Oslo Olympics in his hometown, Eriksen became the first skier from a non-Alpine country to win an Olympic gold medal in Alpine skiing. Most significantly, Eriksen was the first man to win three gold medals in a single world championship in 1954.
Upon his retirement from competitive skiing in 1954, Eriksen continued to shape the sport as a ski instructor and promoter of a new style of skiing. His elegant technique and gymnastic movements were transformative for the skiing world, ushering in a new era of freestyle skiing. He was the first well-known skier to do a flip on skis and reportedly did a back flip every day until he reached his 80s.
Eriksen was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Utah Sports Commission in April, where he was lauded as one of the most influential athletes and businessmen in winter sports. Eriksen and his wife Francoise were the parents of 5 children.
Today, I ask all Members of Congress to join me as we honor the life and legacy of skiing pioneer Stein Eriksen, whose indelible impact on winter sports will be felt by many generations to come.