Ansten Samuelstuen, 83, of Louisville, Colorado passed away at Life Care Center in Greeley, Colorado on August 18, 2012. He was born May 7, 1929 to Peter and Laura (Sæther) Samuelstuen in Brøttum, Norway. Ansten grew up and completed his education in Brøttum. In 1949, he joined the Norwegian Air Force and spent a year (1950-51) at Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming where he received training with electronics and telecommunications. He then returned to Norway and completed his military assignment. He immigrated to the United States in 1954 and became a U.S. Citizen in 1957. Ansten married Joyce Stehlik of Boulder, Colorado in 1954. Their son, Peter Samuelstuen, was born in Boulder in 1955.
Ansten began skiing at the age of three and won his first competition while in the first grade. He became an accomplished ski jumper in Norway before immigrating to the United States. The highlights of his career in Norway include two victories in FIS-sanctioned (International Ski Federation) events in Lillestrøm and Lillehammer in 1956. He placed fifth in 1956 at the annual Holmenkollen ski jumping event in Oslo.
Ansten joined the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club in 1951 and competed with this club for the next ten years. He became legendary for breaking the U.S. national ski jumping distance record on Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs in 1951 with a jump of 316 feet, a record that held for twelve years.
During a 25-year ski jumping career, he earned 300 prizes and trophies in junior, national, and international competitions; these tournaments allowed him the opportunity to visit and compete in ten countries. He successfully won three national U.S. titles in ski jumping (1957, 1961, and 1962) and held four North American titles (1954, 1955, 1957, and 1964). He was a two-time Olympian for the U.S., competing in the 1960 Squaw Valley, California Games and the 1964 Innsbruck, Austria Games. He was the top U.S. ski jumper at the 1960 Olympic Games with a seventh place finish.
Ansten coached the ski jumping team at the University of Denver from 1965-66. He continued to enjoy ski racing well into his 50’s and could be found on the Colorado slopes each ski season even after celebrating his 75th birthday. Ansten was inducted into the United States Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2009 and was awarded a medal of honor at an induction ceremony in Beaver Creek, Colorado in April 2010.
Ansten’s lifelong career was in the electronics field, primarily with Ball Aerospace. He worked for Ball in Colorado and New Mexico and retired from this industry in 1993. Ansten was an avid sportsman; in addition to skiing, he enjoyed golfing and following Colorado sports including the Denver Broncos and Nuggets.
Ansten is preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Laura Samuelstuen; a brother and sister-in-law, Oddvar and Inga Samuelstuen; and a sister and brother-in-law, Kari (Samuelstuen) Nordahl and Arvid Nordahl. He is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Lennart and Ann Samuelstuen, of Goodyear, Arizona; a son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Mary Samuelstuen, of Greeley, Colorado; and two granddaughters, Marte and Emily Samuelstuen. Additionally, he is survived by numerous nieces and nephews in Norway and the United States.
A private family ceremony to commemorate Ansten’s life will be held on Howelson Ski Hill in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
To send flowers to the family of Ansten Samuelstuen, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
In the event that there is an error in the information presented, please contact the funeral home by clicking here.