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Local hall of fame to induct 3 skiers

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Three names will be added to the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame.

One needs no introduction — Stein Eriksen. The two men who will have companion plaques are Axel Andersen, whose accomplishments go back nearly 100 years, and Bill Briggs, whose contributions are more recent and mostly outside of Utah.

The banquet to induct the three will be Saturday at the Utah Olympic Park.

This will be the second class of inductees placed in the hall, located in the Joe Quinney/Alf Engen Museum at the Utah Olympic Park.

The list of inaugural members includes Junior Bounous, Zane Doyle, Alf Engen, Sverre Engen, Kaare "Corey" Engen, Gretchen Fraser, Averred Harridan and Joseph Quinney.

Besides winning gold and silver medals in the 1952 Olympics, Eriksen is recognized as the "father of freestyle skiing." Eriksen, a former gymnast, was one of the first to do a somersault on skis. He has been the ski school director at a number of resorts, including Park City. He is currently director of skiing at Deer Valley.

Anderson, who passed away in 1969, was an early pioneer of ski jumping in Utah. Coming to Utah from Norway in 1912, he organized a group of ski-jumping enthusiasts and put on the first amateur ski-jumping event in 1915. He was also instrumental in forming the Norwegian American Athletic Club, the first ski club west of the Mississippi, which went on to become the Utah Ski Club in the early 1930s.

Briggs is recognized as the "father of extreme skiing." His feats go back to the early 1970s, when he started by being the first to ski down the Grand Teton. He also recorded the first descents in the Bugaboos, Middle Teton, Mt. Moran and Mt. Owen. A 100-mile traverse on skis from the Bugaboos to Rogers Pass established him as one of the greats in skiing mountaineering. In 1967, he purchased the Snow King Ski School in Jackson, Wyo.

Alan Engen, president of the Alf Engen Ski Museum Foundation, said the selections were made by ski historians in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

E-mail: grass@desnews.com