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Skiing Great Stein Eriksen Dies at 88

Skiing legend Stein Eriksen passed away Sunday in Park City. 

Eriksen became famous for his grace and athleticism on the mountain in the 1950s, when he won gold and silver medals for Norway in slalom events. He was also the first alpine skier to win the ‘triple gold’ at the World Championships. 

He soon moved to the United States, and in addition to numerous other awards for performing, teaching and promoting the sport, Eriksen was knighted by the King of Norway.

But Bob Wheaton, President and general manager of Deer Valley Resort and longtime friend of Eriksen, says besides all that, Stein will be remembered for his graciousness and friendliness.

“People would wave and see him skiing down, ‘Oh that’s Stein!’ And people would wait for him at the bottom of the lift and the top of the lift and he always had time for everybody," Wheaton says.  "And even if you had never met him before, within 30 seconds you felt like you had a new best friend. That’s just how Stein engaged with people.”

Wheaton says Eriksen valued his relationships with family and friends and was passionate about teaching the sport, especially to young people.  

"He really wanted to share the love that he had for the sport of skiing with other people," he says. "And he was able to do that through ski instruction in the ski schools that he was the director of, and then through the director of skiing, especially here at Deer Valley.”

Eriksen helped develop what is now Park City Mountain resort and served as the director of skiing at Deer Valley Resort for more than 35 years. The resort’s five-star hotel bears his name.

Wheaton says Eriksen had recently been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He was surrounded by family at his home in Park City when he passed away at the age of 88.

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