Aaron Costic had a dream. He wanted to become a chef. His skills at ice carving were so impressive, however, his instructor encouraged him to participate in ice sculpture competitions. His skills brought him to the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks and then on to winning a gold medal in the Winter Olympics at Torino, Italy in 2006. This year he and his team-mate carved “Concentration” in Fairbanks, the sculpture I featured in my first blog on the competition.
Participation in the Winter Olympics speaks to the popularity of ice carving. It isn’t considered a sport at the Olympics but is seen as a Cultural Olympiad event. The first competition was at the Calgary Winter Games in 1988. On years when the Winter Olympics are held, the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks is considered a qualifying event.
Many of the best ice carvers in the world come to Fairbanks. The art I have included in this series certainly speaks to the talent of the carvers. It was exciting to be at the competition. I only wish I could have been there to see the sculptures lit up with colored lights. Even more, I wish I could have been in Fairbanks for the multi-block competition. Ice Alaska – Facebook includes photos of both if you are interested.
Today I am going to wrap up my photos of the 2016 World Ice Art Championships. In my next blog I will look at the Children’s Ice Park in Fairbanks, the Aurora Ice Carving Museum in Chena Hot Springs, and the snow carving contest connected to the Fur Rendezvous in Anchorage. In other words, I am not quite done with ice art!