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Sailors from Naval Air Facility Misawa work on a sculpture for the 69th annual Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan, Jan. 31, 2018.

Sailors from Naval Air Facility Misawa work on a sculpture for the 69th annual Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan, Jan. 31, 2018. (Samuel Bacon/U.S. Navy)

Sailors from Naval Air Facility Misawa work on a sculpture for the 69th annual Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan, Jan. 31, 2018.

Sailors from Naval Air Facility Misawa work on a sculpture for the 69th annual Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan, Jan. 31, 2018. (Samuel Bacon/U.S. Navy)

Kyle Antrobus works Naval Air Facility Misawa's sculpture for the 69th annual Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan, Jan. 30, 2018.

Kyle Antrobus works Naval Air Facility Misawa's sculpture for the 69th annual Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan, Jan. 30, 2018. (Samuel Bacon/U.S. Navy)

Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Hamilos and Petty Officer 2nd Class Leah Alstad detail Naval Air Facility Misawa's sculpture for the 69th annual Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan, Jan. 31, 2018.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Hamilos and Petty Officer 2nd Class Leah Alstad detail Naval Air Facility Misawa's sculpture for the 69th annual Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan, Jan. 31, 2018. (Samuel Bacon/U.S. Navy)

Chief Alberto Martinez of the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin poses with Naval Air Facility Misawa's contribution to the 69th annual Sapporo Snow Festival, Feb. 3, 2018.

Chief Alberto Martinez of the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin poses with Naval Air Facility Misawa's contribution to the 69th annual Sapporo Snow Festival, Feb. 3, 2018. (Samuel Bacon/U.S. Navy)

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.

cook.leon@stripes.com Twitter: @LeonCook12


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