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Powder, Copper and Coal

Powder, Copper and Coal are the official mascots of the 2002 Winter Olympics, which were held in Salt Lake City during February 2002.

Powder, Copper and Coal
Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Mascots.svg
The 2002 Winter Olympic mascots
Origin of name These three indigenous animals of the Western United States are named after three natural resources important to Utah's economy, survival, and culture.
First seen May 15, 1999
Last seen February 24, 2002


Design historyEdit

The design process for the mascots began in September 1997, and after prototypes were created, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved the mascots in December 1998.[1] The Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) worked with Landor Associates of San Francisco, California, and Publicis to design and market the mascots. The original illustrator of the mascots was Steve Small, known for his work in Rugrats and Disney's Hercules.[2]


All three mascots were publicly unveiled during a celebration on May 15, 1999, at the Triad Center in downtown Salt Lake City. This celebration was hosted by Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi and also celebrated 1,000 remaining days until the start of the 2002 games.[3] The mascots were unveiled during the ceremony as actor and American Indian Billy Daydodge narrated the mascots' stories (which are based on legends from American Indian traditions).[2]

On September 25, 1999, the names of the mascots were announced during a BYU Football game, in Provo, Utah (prior to this only the type of animals and their legends were known). Utah schoolchildren had originally suggested names for the mascots, and the top picks were then publicly voted on; a first in Olympic history.[4]

Meaning and legendsEdit

The mascots are indigenous animals of the Western U.S., and are named after natural resources which have long been important to Utah's economy, survival, and culture. All three animals are major characters in the legends of local American Indians, and each mascot wears a charm around its neck with an original Anasazi or Fremont-style petroglyph to remind them of their heritage.[4][5]

  • Powder - A snowshoe hare, represents the Native American legend when the sun was too close to the earth and was burning it. The hare ran to the top of a mountain, and shot her arrow into the sun. This caused it to drop lower in the sky, cooling the earth. Powder is the only female of the trio, and represents Faster/Swifter from the Olympic motto.[5]
  • Copper - A coyote, represents the Native American legend when the earth froze and turned dark, the coyote climbed to the highest mountaintop and stole a flame from the fire people. He returned and brought warmth and light to the people. Copper represents Higher from the Olympic motto.[5]
  • Coal - An American black bear, represents the Native American legend of a group of hunters who were never able to kill a mighty bear. Today the sons of these hunters still chase the bear across the night sky, as constellations. Coal represents Stronger from the Olympic motto.[5]


  1. ^ Mike Gorrell (December 14, 1998). "S.L.'s Oly Mascots Get Ringing Endorsement". The Salt Lake Tribune.
  2. ^ a b Utah Travel Industry. "2002 Winter Olympics: Emblems and Mascots". Archived from the original on November 21, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  3. ^ Jerry Spangler (May 13, 1999). "S.L. party to offer fun, Games". Deseret News. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Jerry Spangler (September 26, 1999). "Mascots are Coal, Powder, Copper". Deseret News. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d Salt Lake Organizing Committee (2001). Reach: An Educators Guide to the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games of 2002 (PDF). pp. 15–17. Retrieved October 31, 2010.
Preceded by
Olly, Syd and Millie
Olympic mascot
Powder, Copper and Coal

Salt Lake City 2002
Succeeded by
Athena and Phevos