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Rebellious Freeskiers Gave Skiing Its Wings

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Perhaps the first skier to execeute a front flip, Stein Eriksen wowed crowds in the late 1950s and early ’60s with gravity-defying aerials, helping skiing ascend to the heavens.

Photo courtesy of Stein Eriksen

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Looking toexpand the appeal of skiinstruction, Canadian DougPfeiffer (above) and Swissski school director RudiWyrsch started teachingthe benefits of ‘exotic skiing.’

Photo courtesy of The New England Ski Museum

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RudiWyrsch demonstrates some more ‘exotic’ moves.

Photo courtesy of The New England Ski Museum

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With gracefulathleticism and a wholesomebeauty, Olympic racer SuzyChaffee brought ski balletinto the mainstream in the1970sand 1980s. Herdancelike routines and cover-girl good looks made her a darlingof the media.

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In the early 1970s,Wayne Wong’s aggressiveskiing (the Wong Banger)and daring aerials helpedopen the door to greaterfreedom on the slopes andin competitions.

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This set thestage for skiing’s next revolution,in America’s parksand pipes.

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New school iconTanner Hall rides therails in Verbier, Switzerland.