International Snow Sculpture Competition winners announced in Breckenridge |

International Snow Sculpture Competition winners announced in Breckenridge

Team USA-Vermont won gold in the 26th annual International Snow Sculpture Competition with “Rhonda and Her Recycling Robo-Octopus,” a piece that depicted 14-year-old science whiz Rhonda riding inside her invention — the Robo-Octopus — which helps clean the ocean floor. Judges appreciated the piece’s achievements both technically and conceptually, and the appeal for audiences on multiple levels.

Along with 15 other teams, Vermont sculptors worked with only hand tools for 65 hours across five days to create a temporary outdoor art gallery. Sculptures will remain on display at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge until Sunday, Feb. 7 (weather permitting).

Team Switzerland won silver with “Converse.” The sculpture depicted two structures, almost identical, yet converse.

Team USA-Loveland won bronze 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 Artists’ Choice with “Dia de los Muertos,” which represented an altar seen during the Mexican holiday.

People’s Choice and Kid’s Choice will be announced Sunday, Jan. 31.

Beginning Monday, Feb. 1, fans can vote for Social Media Fan Favorite on

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.”

Artists battled a mix of conditions — sunshine, varied temperatures and wind — during competition week. Several pieces partially collapsed shortly after the sculpting deadline of 10 a.m. on Saturday. It was a reminder of the temporary nature of the medium and just how willing teams are to push the limits of snow. Judges recognized both German teams (whose pieces fell prior to the deadline) for their willingness to take risks.

“We know that they are always contenders for this event,” said Cram.

An official awards ceremony took place today at the Breckenridge Riverwalk Center. Winners receive medals and recognition from the international snow sculpture community — though no prize money is awarded, all teams receive travel stipends, meals and lodging.

Teams competing included Canada (Yukon), Estonia, Finland, France, Germany (Agrawal), Germany (Theil), Great Britain, Mexico, Mongolia (Batmunkh), Mongolia (Bayanmunkh), Switzerland, USA (Breckenridge), USA (Loveland), USA (Vermont), USA (Wisconsin), and Ukraine.

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