Stein Eriksen in the 1950s ©Getty Images

Norway's alpine skiing legend Stein Eriksen has passed away at the age of 88, it has been announced.

The Olympic gold medallist and triple world champion died peacefully surrounded by family at his home in Park City, Utah.

His death was announced by the Deer Valley resort in Park City, where he had served as director of skiing for more than 35-years.

Eriksen won giant slalom gold at his home Olympic Games in Oslo in 1952, where he also added slalom silver.

Two years later, he became the first skier to win triple gold at a World Championships when he captured the slalom, giant slalom and combined titles in Åre in Sweden.

His style and personality captured the attention of Hollywood stars, and he is also considered to be one of the pioneers of freestyle skiing today due to the impressive tricks he could perform on the snow.

This included a forward somersault which is credited as the forerunner of the inverted aerials performed by today's freestyle competitors, and he was said to perform a back-flip every day until he was 80.

In 1977, Eriksen was awarded the Knight First Class honour by the King of Norway, and he was an ambassador at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, when some of the events were held at Deer Valley.

Tributes have poured in from the skiing world, with American Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn describing him as a "legend".

"It's sad that he's gone, but he had a lot of cool experiences in his lifetime and I'm guessing he was blessed and happy with what he accomplished," said Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal, a triple Olympic medallist.

Eriksen is survived by his wife of 35 years, Francoise, son Bjorn, three daughters, Julianna, Ava and Anja and five grandchildren.