Skiing world mourns death of pioneer Eriksen


Lindsey Vonn and Aksel Lund Svindal have led the tributes to skiing legend Stein Eriksen, who has died at the age of 88.

The first man to win three gold medals at a single world championship, in Are 61 years ago, Eriksen is regarded as a pioneer whose elegant technique revolutionised skiing.

Following his retirement from competitive skiing, the Norwegian served as director of skiing at the Deer Valley Resort for 35 years.

The resort announced on Monday that Eriksen "passed away peacefully on Sunday at his home in Park City, Utah surrounded by family."

A statement continued: "As one of the most recognized names in the ski world, Stein Eriksen has been synonymous with skiing style and elegance for more than 60 years.

"The first alpine skier to win triple gold at a world championship, an Olympic gold medalist and ambassador and father of freestyle skiing, Stein Eriksen parlayed all that he knew and loved about the sport into an incredible career that spanned almost six decades and changed the face of alpine skiing worldwide."

Nineteen-time FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup champion Vonn responded to the news on Twitter, posting: "Stein was a legend in skiing. So sad. RIP #legend."

Her sentiments were echoed by Svindal, a winner of five world championship golds, who tweeted: "RIP the legend Stein Eriksen. A great guy and a legendary skier."

Kjetil Jansrud, another of the present day's leading competitors, posted: "RIP Stein Eriksen. One of the pioneers in our sport. #legend."