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Outdoor sculpture of a sprinter made of metal junk has a motorcycle wheel for a head.
"Borzov the Sprinter" has a motorcycle wheel for a head.

Athletes Made of Junk

Field review by the editors.

Daphne, Alabama

Bruce Larsen was 20 when he saw the film Alien and thought he'd like a career making movie monsters. He got sidetracked in the 1980s as an airbrush artist at the Jersey Shore, painting fantasy images on surfboards. Then he moved to Alabama and finally established himself as a respected professional sculptor of junk art.

Outdoor sculpture of a baseball player swinging a bat, made of metal junk.
"Mr. Baseball" gets his power from rusty propane tanks.

Ten of his sculptures are permanently displayed on the grounds of the United States Sports Academy in Daphne. Each depicts a different sport, and most are tributes to individuals: "Arnold the Weightlifter," "Nastia the Gymnast," "Jordan the Basketball Player."

In 2010 Larsen unveiled "The Iron Bowl," commemorating the rivalry between the University of Alabama and Auburn University football teams. It's only two players, but there was talk at the time of adding more and making it a huge artwork. That hasn't happened.

Outdoor sculptures of two football players made of metal junk: one is throwing football, the other is tackling him.
"Iron Bowl" marks the rivalry between Alabama's two biggest college football teams.

Instead, Larsen has continually added new, different sculptures to the display, built out of welded assemblies of outboard motors, rusted motorcycles, tractor parts, drainage pipes, propane tanks, grates, gears, and scrap metal. Larson's athlete sculptures express dramatic positions of human flexibility and motion, in a skeletal and biomechanical style that would not seem at all alien aboard the starfreighter Nostromo.

Athletes Made of Junk

United States Sports Academy

1 Academy Drive, Daphne, AL
Next to a parking lot at the United States Sports Academy. I-10 exits 35 or 35A. Drive south on US 98/Old Spanish Trail for one mile, then turn left at the green U.S. Sports Academy sign onto Academy Drive. Turn right into the parking lot, then bear left; the statues will be at the edge of the lot, under the trees.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

See Alligators from Town BoardwalkSee Alligators from Town Boardwalk, Daphne, AL - < 1 mi.
14-Foot-High Paper Clip14-Foot-High Paper Clip, Spanish Fort, AL - 2 mi.
Bronze Fist Holds FlagBronze Fist Holds Flag, Daphne, AL - 2 mi.
In the region:
Giant Gun Safe on a Pole, Mobile, AL - 13 mi.

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