Bittersweet victory for Fur Rondy snow sculpture winner

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - An enormous armor-clad man wreathed in protective wings was the grand prize winning work for the 2018 Fur Rendezvous Alaska State Snow Sculpting Championships.

It was a bittersweet victory for Team AK Awesome, as long-time team member Wade Pier is planning to retire after the upcoming national competition due to the affects of his Multiple sclerosis (MS). "I've always said I'm going to do what I love until I can't do it anymore," Pier said.

He explained the importance of the design. "It was something that was shelved nine years ago, so this is probably going to be my last year sculpting. So, I got them to do the one I really want them to do."

Matt Lloyd, a fellow team member from AK Awesome, echoed that statement saying, it's the "one that he's always wanted to do that we've never done. It's perfect timing."

Pier explained that he sketched the design for the angel about 20-years ago while serving in the military. AK Awesome had a habit of shelving designs for years on end before using them.

The team estimates it took around 150 hours to carve this year’s winning work. Following its completion, the group was definitive, shouting together in describing how they will now celebrate: "Sleep!"

AK Awesome, will now head to the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championships in Wisconsin to compete against the country's best snow sculptors. When asked who they were particularly worried to face in competition, the team replied again, in unison: "Everybody!"

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