2002 Olympic Arts Festival ice sculpting competition in Provo, Utah

Part 1; photos courtesy of Chuck Cooper and others

Junichi Nakamura works on "Dragon Fighter" in Provo, UT in 2002
Junichi Nakamura, with his distinctive earmuffs, at work on "Dragon Fighter"
Here are some photos from the 2002 Cultural Olympic Arts Festival event in Provo, Utah. These photos were probably taken by then NICA President Chuck Cooper and others organizing the event. I've broken the photos into two galleries; there were a lot of photos! You can skip this part and go straight to the second part if you wish.
All the ice sculptors gathered for the opening ceremonies of the Olympic event.

opening ceremonies

getting ready to cut the ribbon to begin the festivities

opening ceremonies closeup

Mark Davis and Shinichi Sawamura work on parts of their abstract ice sculpture.

“Dance for Gold” by Mark Davis & Shinichi Sawamura (USA; site 1)

Mark Davis and Shinichi Sawamura work on their ice sculpture.

“Dance for Gold” by Mark Davis & Shinichi Sawamura (USA; site 1)




“Joy” by Kenzo Hirata & Kouichi Hirata
(Japan; site 3)

“Joy” by Kenzo Hirata & Kouichi Hirata
(Japan; site 3)

“Olympic Spirit Prevails” by Don Henley & Doug Henley
(USA; site 5)

“Olympic Spirit Prevails” by Don Henley & Doug Henley
(USA; site 5)

I was fortunate enough to be a part of this event. It was a dream of mine ever since I saw pictures of the ice sculptures at the Olympic Arts event in Hamar, Norway in 1994. Like the event in Hamar, the 2002 Olympic Arts ice sculpting event was not held EXACTLY in the winter games host city (Salt Lake City). Instead, it was nearby, in Provo. There are an awful lot of events that have to be accommodated at an Olympics and the associated Arts events (not precisely sporting events) necessarily have to fit in where they can.

“Flight or Fight Response” by Matt Williams & Jeff Stahl
(USA; site 6)

“Dragon Fighter” by Junichi Nakamura & Hideaki Sakamoto
(Japan; site 7)

mealtime

“Dragon Fighter” by Junichi Nakamura & Hideaki Sakamoto
(Japan; site 7)




“Harmony in Peace” by Herman Van Dender & Peter Slavin
(Belgium; site 8)

“Harmony in Peace” by Herman Van Dender & Peter Slavin
(Belgium; site 8)

“Quest for Olympic Gold” by Dan Rebholz & Rich Bubin
(USA; site 14)

“Captain Hook’s Escape” by Lee Ross & Michael MacKasey
(Canada; site 11)

The National Ice Carving Association, with this event, faced probably the greatest challenge in its history. Not only did it have to put on a world class event in an area that had a ridiculous number of other distractions, stretched resources, and less than ideal conditions, but they also had to figure out how they were going to qualify all the competitors and handle the qualifying events. In the face of all these challenges, and compared to Olympic Arts events held since, it's hard to argue that NICA didn't do a pretty awesome job. Of course, I'm a little biased, because I was much more associated with NICA then than I am now. (obligatory disclaimer and notice of conflict of interest)

“Standoff” by Steve Brice & Kevin Roscoe
(USA; site 15)

“Standoff” by Steve Brice & Kevin Roscoe
(USA; site 15)

World Trade Center piece, by List & Barker
(USA)

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