Team USA – Vermont Scoops the Gold Medal at the International Snow Sculpture Championships 2016 in Breckenridge

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1 February 2016 – Team USA-Vermont has been crowned the winner of the 26th annual International Snow Sculpture Championships (ISSC) in Breckenridge, during a grand finale ceremony on Saturday 30 January, which saw the team scoop gold in front of hundreds of spectators.

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The five days of snow sculpting, which brought 16 teams from all over the world to the heart of Colorado, came to an end on 30 January 2016, resulting in the vast and unique snow masterpieces being presented to the panel of judges. The 16 works of art will also remain on display for the public to marvel at until 7 February 2016.

Team USA-Vermont won the judges’ first place with their stunning “Rhonda and Her Recycling Robo-Octopus”. The sculpture was awarded the accolade for its depiction of 14-year-old science whizz Rhonda riding inside her invention – the Robo-Octopus – which helps clean the ocean floor. Second place went to triumphant Team Switzerland for “Converse”, a snow sculpture representing two structures, almost identical, yet converse, while Team USA-Loveland ranked third with “Bolting from Extinction”, a piece rooted in the idea that nature does not know extinction because it only knows transformation. Team USA-Wisconsin won the Artists’ Choice Award with their sculpture “Dia de los Muertos,” which represented an altar seen during the Mexican holiday.

Team Great Britain competed with their Tale of Two Dragons design, carefully crafted by the four-member team. Oliver Annaly, a stone sculptor who has previously competed in International Snow Sculpture Championships, led Team GB in their third Breckenridge appearance.

Jenn Cram, judge coordinator and director of public programs and engagement for Breckenridge Creative Arts commented on behalf of the judging panel: “Vermont’s sculpture is visually delightful, it appeals to the child in all of us while addressing a serious global issue. The piece combined both technical risk and a high level of detail. It is superbly executed in 360 degrees”.

Those not able to spectate in person can still vote for their favourite snow sculpture on Facebook. Voting is open for the ‘Social Media Fan Favourite Award’ until midnight on Sunday, 7 February 2016 and fans can visit Facebook.com/gobreck to cast a vote.

The international teams from Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany (Agrawal), Germany (Theil), Great Britain, Mexico, Mongolia (Batmunkh), Mongolia (Bayamunkh), Switzerland, USA (Breckenridge), USA (Loveland), USA (Vermont), USA (Wisconsin) and Ukraine worked tirelessly for 65 hours and turned a 12-foot and 20-tonne block of snow into work of art using just their bare hands and a selection of hand tools.

Artists battled a mix of conditions from sunshine, varied temperatures and wind during the competition week. Several pieces of art partially collapsed shortly after the sculpting deadline reminding teams of the temporary nature of the medium and just how willing teams are to push the limits of snow.

To admire the snow sculptures and find out more about the International Snow Sculpture Championships, visit www.breckconnection.com, like @GoBreck on Facebook or follow #BreckBecause on Twitter and Instagram.

For more information on the International Snow Sculpture Championships, visit www.gobreck.com/events/international-snow-sculpture-championships or www.SculptSnow.com and for more information on Breckenridge, visit www.gobreck.com.

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