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Custom Bronze Sculpting Foundry Honors Top Athletes of Brigham Young University with a Bronze Plaque
Bronze Sculptor, Matt Glenn, of Big Statues in Provo, Utah, unveils 4 x 9 foot wooden and bronze plaque to honor track and field athletes of BYU from the past ten years. The Curtis Pugsley Athlete of the Year Award will recognize top athletes annually.
Big Statues, a custom bronze sculpting company, unveiled The Curtis Pugsley Athlete of the Year Award on Friday, October 7, 2011, at the dedication ceremony of the Brigham Young University Track and Field Athletic Department.
The Curtis Pugsley Athlete of the Year Award, named after an exceptional track and field athlete of Brigham Young University, Curtis Pugsley, will annually recognize the most talented male and female track and field athletes of the university.
Curtis Pugsley was a multiple All-American and decathlon champion from 2000 to 2004, during his studies at BYU. Since that time, Curtis has suffered various health complications, including a malignant tumor that has caused him to amputate his leg. During his opening speech before the unveiling of the plaque, Curtis said that it was the perseverance and attitude of his time in track and field that made him stronger for every other challenge that has come in his life.
The 4 foot by 9 foot display was composed of a polished wooden base, adorned with bronze bordering, name plates, title plaques, and a central hand-sculpted medallion. This 3-D relief bronze medallion, measuring 23 inches tall by 33 inches wide, and featuring the BYU logo, 6 miniature figurines of athletes, the Olympic leaves, and a banner, was hand sculpted by artist Matt Glenn of Big Statues.
When Matt Glenn was first approached by the Head Track and Field Men’s Coach, Mark Robison, in January of 2011 about an idea for a bronze plaque that would honor the track and field athletes of BYU, he was delighted to learn of Robison’s close proximity. After initial design meetings in person, where Matt Glenn and Big Statues’ graphic designer were able to meet with the donors and athletic administrative staff for the project, the parties concluded on an impressive nine foot long display that incorporated the total layout of each athlete’s name with a place for the featured biographies of the most recent award winners.
The finished design resulted in thirty name placards on the left and right sides of the BYU track and field medallion. On the night of the unveiling, at least twenty-one of those places were filled with the engraved placards of male and female athletes of the year from 1991 to 2011. In the years to come, the remaining placards will be filled with each new athlete’s name until the time comes for the placards to begin cycling out. In this way, the plaque will become a timeless piece, honoring past and present in the many years to come.
Inside the indoor track at the Smithfield House of the BYU Provo Campus, hundreds of visitors, alumni, family, and friends from the past 50 years came to congratulate each athlete and to witness the unveiling of the display that would bring them all together. Surrounded by rows upon rows of tables and easels displaying past team photos, newspaper articles, student artwork, and other related memorabilia, the atmosphere of the crowd before the unveiling event was that of momentous pride, nostalgia, and cheer. Young children and toddlers of athletes from the 1990’s, now grown and established in the community with families and careers of their own, ran around tables and stored track equipment, as their parents reminisced together.
After an opening speech by Curtis Pugsley, who shared moments of personal trial and how athletic dedication extends beyond the track to every other part of life, the award was finally revealed. Triumphant music accompanied the sweeping gestures of the blue cloths as Marc Robison removed the sheets to reveal a stunning bronze display under the lights of the auditorium.
One onlooker expressed his awe, stating “Look at this, this is magic! When the kids of athletes come here and see their fathers’ and mothers’ names up on that plaque. It’s about time they get the recognition they deserve…They’re really memorialized. This is going to create a legacy that will go on for years…”
This theme of legacy, memory, family, and honor was indeed carried throughout the entire night. After an original video was screened, compiling footage and photographs of each athlete in their respective events, each athlete was announced with their accomplishments, handed a framed action shot, and photographed in front of the plaque.
One athlete of the year and his son travelled all the way from Africa to be recognized and share in the night’s celebration. Another, Leonard Myles-Mills, reversed places for a moment to be honored with his peers, as he has since become assistant track coach. It was a truly touching moment when one award recipient’s young daughter jumped out of her seat and cheered for her father before his name was even finished being read aloud.
The ceremony closed with a touching photograph of all of the athletes of the year, holding framed portraits of their most celebrated events, standing together in front of the Curtis Pugsley Athlete of the Year award display.
For more information about Matt Glenn, Big Statues, and the custom bronze statue foundry, visit http://www.bigstatues.com.