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The names Powder, Copper and Coal are an allusion to Utah's natural resources, its snow and its land. Over 42,000 schoolchildren gave their advice on the mascots' names. The Organising Committee then launched a national vote to determine their final names. Other options were Sky, Cliff, Shadow and Arrow, Bolt, Rocky.
Powder is a snowshoe hare, Copper a coyote and Coal a black bear. The hare‟s speed, the coyote's ability to climb the highest mountaintops and the black bear's strength illustrate the Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius (faster, higher, stronger). The inspiration for the mascots came from ancient Utah cultures. Each wears a necklace featuring the animal he/she represents in the form of a petroglyph (rock engraving) in the style of the Anasazis or Fremonts, ancient peoples from the region. In addition, the three animals were often the major protagonists in Native American legends, passed on from generation to generation.
The first sketches of the mascots were submitted to focus groups in three different cities (Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Milwaukee). Some 80 per cent of the participants, of all age groups, chose the snowshoe hare, the coyote and the black bear.
Find out more about the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Games on olympic.org