2008 snow sculpture international championships
china earns gold
"The Warrior and the Moon" came to life and gave China top honors at the Budweiser Select International Snow Sculpture Championships
DAILY NEWS STAFF REPORT
Summit County, CO Colorado
January 26, 2008
BRECKENRIDGE - Sixty-five sculpting hours, Colorado blue skies, camaraderie from nine countries around the world and perfect man-made snow were exactly what the snow sculptors of Team China needed to bring "The Warrior and the Moon" to life. Team China took home the gold Saturday at the 2008 Budweiser Select International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge. Team China was at a disadvantage with a two man team when every other team had four sculptors, yet they still produced one of the most elegant and intricate pieces of art that the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships has ever seen. The sculpting finished at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, and judges took more than two hours to pick a winner.
The results are as follows: Gold: Team China with "The Warrior and the Moon" a sculpture of a Chinese hunter on horseback running though a wintery forest with his hunting dogs at his horse's heels. Silver: Team Canada, Yukon with "Swan Song," an intricate sculpture of an old Shaman beating his drum in front of a blazing fire that creates a sphere of giant swans in the smoke around him. Bronze: Team Germany with "Bridge of Tolerance," a complex and technically risky sculpture of two figures balancing on a three legged bridge.
Thousands of spectators watched this week as 16 teams from nine countries participated in this free event, now in its 18th year. Artists have been working since Tuesday to create these sensational sculptures. The finished pieces are achieved without the use of power tools, internal support structures or colorants - just the ingenuity of man and a medium that lends itself, if only temporarily, to the persuasion of chisels, saws, chicken wire and even carrot scrapers. The sculptures will remain on display at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge until Sunday, Feb. 3 - weather permitting.
Facts from the Budweiser Select International Snow Sculpture Championships
The Breckenridge Ski Resort makes the snow and the Town of Breckenridge Public Works Department loads it into dump trucks and takes it to the event site. The special blend of snow that the ski area creates (higher water content) is known to be some of the best snow in the world to sculpt with.
The Town of Breckenridge Public Works Department takes great pride in forming the blocks of snow. Front-end loaders take the snow from the dump trucks to the event site. The snow is blown into the blocks by a huge snow blower. After a couple loads, about 4-6 people, "snow stompers," climb into the blocks and stomp the snow to pack it into the blocks. The people then climb out of the block and another layer gets blown in and the people get back into the block and stomp the snow.
Produced by the Breckenridge Resort Chamber and the Town of Breckenridge, this prestigious event is not possible with out the help of many community partners and volunteers. More than 1000 volunteer hours are needed over the course of three weeks in January. Snow carving in Breckenridge began as a local pastime during the town's winter carnival - Ullr Fest - in the late 1960s and early 1970s.