Salt Lake 2002 unveiled its Olympic mascots in May 1999. Powder, Copper and Coal represented not only three of Utah’s indigenous animals, but also three natural resources found in the state.
Powder, a snowshoe hare, is featured in a Native American legend that tells of 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 the sun to drop lower in the sky and cool the land.
Copper, a coyote, is featured in a Native American legend that tells of 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.
Coal, an American black bear, is featured in a Native American legend that recalls hunters who were never able to kill the mighty bear. Today the sons of these hunters still chase the bear across the night sky, as constellations.
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