Stein Eriksen’s legacy continues to help young athletes |

Stein Eriksen’s legacy continues to help young athletes

As Park City continues to celebrate the life of late skiing legend Stein Eriksen, who died last month at the age of 88, the Youth Sports Alliance is raising the final funds for the Stein Eriksen Youth Sports Alliance Opportunity Endowment.

The Endowment was started in April of 2014 with a goal to raise $2 million in two years. With about $1.8 million raised so far and three months to go to reach $2 million, the endowment fund should meet its goal.

Following a year in which the Youth Sports Alliance distributed $45,000 in scholarships and grants but had requests for $150,000, the Stein Eriksen Endowment will be of great benefit for Park City’s young winter athletes. investing the $2 million and awarding scholarships from the earnings, the YSA will be able to help more athletes compete in the sports they love.

Jim Gaddis, a former U.S. Ski Team member and the founder of the YSA, said he the endowment to generate $100,000 annually. That money will be given directly to young athletes competing for many of Park City’s winter sports teams.

Winter sports are expensive, Gaddis noted, and any help the YSA can provide competitive athletes or elementary students in YSA’s Get Out & Play program will go a long way.

Getting children involved in winter sports was a cause Eriksen cared for deeply, making his involvement with the YSA a no-brainer.

When Deer Valley hosts a celebration of Eriksen’s life on Thursday, Feb. 4, before the World Cup aerials competition, we’ll celebrate the man who won an Olympic gold medal in 1952 and three gold medals at the 1954 World Championships. (Notably, $54 of every Deer Valley lift ticket sold that day will go to the endowment.) We’ll also remember a man who made Park City his adopted home and spent his later years as Deer Valley’s Director of Skiing.

When the Stein Eriksen Endowment money is fully raised and young athletes are able to continue competing in the sports they love, Eriksen’s legacy will be passed down to the next generation. Perhaps a scholarship given in his name will produce the next Ted Ligety, who matched Eriksen’s three-gold-medal performance at the 2013 World Championships.

Though Stein Eriksen may no longer be among us, the endowment in his name will ensure his impact is felt for many years to come.

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