Skip to main content

Cottonwood Heights Journal

Ski & Snowboard News / Stein Eriksen: Secret tales of his life

Jul 21, 2016 04:15PM ● By Harriet Wallis

Iconic Stein Eriksen

Legendary Stein Eriksen was famous for his stylish and graceful ski turns. Generation of skiers tried to mimic him. "Stein made the turns we all wish we could make," said Tom Kelly, vice president of communications for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association. "Everyone who met him came away with a life-long experience." He passed away in December, 2015.

Stein was honored by ski industry leaders on Wednesday at the unveiling of the Stein Eriksen exhibit at the Alf Engen Ski Museum in Park City, Utah. And they told secret tales of his life.

Stein was dedicated to his family and to the community, said Bob Wheaton,  president and CEO of Deer Valley Resort. "If you needed a hand, Stein was right there." And he had a whacky sense of humor.

We were at a party that was a bit stale, Wheaton said. Stein went to the food table, scooped up a dollop of whipped cream and put it on his nose. Then he went around the room meeting people – with the glop of white on his nose.

Wheaton recalls more of Stein's humor. He would often introduce himself saying, "Hi. I'm Stein. It's so nice for You to meet Me!"

Russ Olsen, CEO of the five star Stein Eriksen Lodge, recalled Stein. "I skied with Stein once. Actually, I rode up the lift with him." We got off the lift, he took off, and I never saw him again the whole day. He could ski anything at 90 miles per hour, without a hat, and when it was 40 below.

And he really could ski anything. With his athleticism to spun and flip he became a father of freestyle skiing.

Stein enjoyed the meeting the guests at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, which was also his home. He would go from table to table in the dining room and personally welcome the guests. He loved doing that. Solemnly, near the end of his life, Stein had hopes of returning to the Lodge and told Olsen to let guests know he would be back.

Viewers enjoy the display / photo: Harriet Wallis

The exhibit includes a video of Stein skiing and his skis and bibs from the 1954 Winter Olympics where he earned three medals. His trophies and medals are on exhibit in the lobby of the Stein Eriksen Lodge.