Misawa sailors sculpt ‘The Lone Sailor’ in snow for annual Sapporo festival
By LEON COOK | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 7, 2018
Servicemembers sculpted a replica of the Navy’s iconic “Lone Sailor” statue out of snow for this year’s Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan.
An 11-person team from Naval Air Facility Misawa began the sculpture on Jan. 29 by chipping away at a massive block of compacted snow at Odori Park in the heart of Sapporo. Snow-sculpture teams from around the world take part in the popular annual festival, which began Monday and runs through Feb. 12.
“We chose this statue because it represents something that every sailor goes through at some point in their career,” Chief Petty Officer Frank Ring said in a Navy statement. “At some point when a sailor is far from home, or they rotate to a new command, they have a moment where they must rise to meet the challenges of being a United States sailor.”
An unseasonably warm second day of construction caused the Navy’s sculpture to collapse. The sailors responded by arriving to work hours before other teams and sculpting well into the evenings to meet the Feb. 4 deadline.
This is the 35th year that Misawa sailors have participated in the festival. Past sculptures have included an aircraft carrier, a surface warfare pin, the fighting bee of the Seabees and a Navy diver.