2002 Olympic mascot reflects on her time as Powder after big announcement
Nov 29, 2023, 10:53 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2023, 9:49 am
SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City was named the preferred host of the 2034 Winter Olympics by the International Olympics Committee on Wednesday, and Utahns have been reflecting on their experience in the 2002 Olympics.
One of them, Heather Mickey, told KSL TV about her time as an official Olympic mascot in 2002.
“If I could relive two weeks of my life, it would be the Olympics,” she said.
Over 20 years ago, Mickey dressed as Powder, an adorable white rabbit that was replicated by stuffed animals and souvenirs for attendees of the 2002 Games.
“I got to hug people from around the world and that just is an international language,” she said.
She interacted with Mitt Romney, who was the president of the Salt Lake organizing committee at the time. Because of the work done in 2002, Utah leaders have a masterplan of venues from Snowbasin and Weber County, all the way to Peaks Ice Arena in Provo.
The IOC’s feasibility study hinted at some site expansions and upgrades but mostly showed Salt Lake City to be Olympic-ready.
“I think that Salt Lake and all of Utah has done a good job in keeping up all the venues and just the excitement of the games,” Mickey said.
Though 2034 is still just over 10 years away, Mickey is celebrating what’s to come for the next generation.
“Now we’ve got children that will be the ages that we were,” she said. “It’s just going to be cool to see it through different generations and different lenses.”
Though the job might be one she’ll pass on.
“I don’t know if I’m young enough to do that job again in 11 years,” Mickey said. “But I’d be willing to try it!”