Team India led by Kashmiri youth wins ‘Spirit award’ in USA

The sculpture and the India-Callisto team after the competition. Photo/ Kashmir Patriot

SRINAGAR : A snow-sculpting Indian team led by Baramulla-based youth Zahoor Din Lone won the “Spirit Award” at the 27th International Snow Sculpture Championship, held at Breckenridge, USA from January 24, 2017.

The Team India was comprises of four members as per the championship rules. The four artists/snow sportsmen to represent team India are Zahoor Din Lone, Sunil Kushwaha, Ravi Prakash, and Mridul Kumar Upadhyay. This is for the first time when a team from India is participating in any international snow sports championship.

This year Sixteen teams from around the world — China, Finland, Germany (Theil), Great Britain (Annaly), Iceland, India (Callisto), Italy, Mexico, Mongolia (Erdene), Mongolia (Tserendash), Sweden, Turkey, USA-Breckenridge, USA-Loveland, USA-Vermont, USA-Wisconsin (Tomczak) — began their work of hand-carving 25 ton blocks of snow in Breckenridge, Colorado of United States.

While talking to Kashmir Patriot from United States, Zahoor din Lone, a young Kashmir artist and the captain of the team said they are proud to represent their country on an international platform. He adds that this is like a dream come true to represent India in Snow sports championship as India has never participated in this sport.

He says that the Team manages their requirements by their own, besides arrangements by the championship organizers. “Once we made headlines in the televisions and newspapers by qualifying for the championship, people were promising support, but once we approached them, especially government authorities, they keep passing the buck,” he said. Lone adds that the even he himself awaits any logistic support from the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council as they assured the same earlier.

Interestingly, this year for the first time, a team from India has been chosen from amongst these fine submissions for the world class snow event at Breckenridge in US.

“We were supported and encouraged by the organizers and other teams a lot. We won hearts with our hard work, passion, dedication, nature and positive attitude. We tried to promote India as not only a warm country but a perfect destination for snow based tourism too and we could do that through qualifying in this international Championship,” he told Kashmir Patriot.

Jubilant after receiving the award, the team has decided to practice more so as to improve their art and focus more on international snow sculpting Championships around the world.

“Also, we’ll use our experience to promote snow sculpting and snow-based tourism in India through training of snow Sculpting and organizing national and international snow sculpting Championships in India if given proper support,” the team adds