Recognized as the "father of freestyle," Stein Eriksen was a handsome, stylish, and charismatic figure. Stein was born in Oslo, Norway on December 11, 1927. Eriksen's interest in the Olympics and skiing was gained by observing his father, a skier and Olympic gymnast. Stein also trained as a gymnast and skier and went on to become an Olympic Champion, winning gold in giant slalom and silver in slalom at the 1952 Olympics in Oslo, Norway.
The decision to move to the United States was made shortly after his success in the 1952 Olympics. While still ski racing for Norway, Eriksen became a ski instructor at Sun Valley, Idaho. He also served as ski director at many other resorts: Boyne Mountain, Michigan; Sugarbush, Vermont; Heavenly, California; Snowmass and Aspen, Colorado; Park City Mountain Resort, and ultimately Deer Valley, Utah.