North Dakota team to compete in international ice sculpting competition after winning nationals

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 5:34 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota is no stranger to ice and snow, and the havoc they can cause. For some, however, ice is simply an art medium.

Team Jay Ray and Snowkraft won the National Snow Sculpting Competition on January 4 in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Jay Ray, Josh Zeis, and Mike Nelson competed as a team, building their “The Nemean Lion” sculpture.

According to Nelson, they were proud of their work and had high hopes, but winning was a feeling like no other.

“Our hearts were pounding. They announced third place and second place pretty early and then they had to give some speeches, and had some various other people come in, so it was about 20 minutes between announcing second place and announcing first place, so our hearts were just pounding. Then, when they announced block four, team North Dakota, we were elated, it was incredible,” said Mike Nelson, artist on the winning team.

Last year, they competed and were the first team invited from North Dakota to the national competition. In January 2024, they will be going to Minnesota to compete in the international sculpting competition as Team USA.

Nelson wanted people to know that they hold many beginner-friendly competitions for both snow and ice sculpting in Fargo, and he invites more people from western North Dakota to come and try it out.