VIII Paralympic Winter Games
Host citySalt Lake City, Utah
MottoMind, Body, Spirit
Events92 in 4 sports
Opening7 March
Closing16 March
Opened by
StadiumRice-Eccles Stadium
2002 Winter Olympics

The 2002 Winter Paralympics, the eighth Paralympic Winter Games, were held in Salt Lake City, Utah, from 7 to 16 March 2002. A total of 416 athletes from 36 nations participated. They were the first Winter Paralympics in the American continent. These were the first Paralympic Winter Games for Andorra, Chile, China, Croatia, Greece, and Hungary. Ragnhild Myklebust of Norway won five gold medals in skiing and biathlon, becoming the most successful Winter Paralympic athlete of all time with 22 medals, 17 of them gold.[1]

Opening ceremony

The opening ceremony was held on 7 March 2002 at Rice-Eccles Stadium, with more than 40,000 spectators. Muffy Davis and Chris Waddell jointly lit the Paralympic cauldron.[2]

Closing ceremony

The closing ceremony with more than 25.000 tickets sold was held on 16 March 2002 at the Olympic Medals Plaza in downtown Salt Lake City.[citation needed]


The games consisted of four disciplines in three sports, with 92 medal events in total.[3]


In total 5 venues were used at the 2002 Winter Olympics around 4 cities and towns.[4]

Salt Lake City

Weber County, Utah

Wasatch County, Utah

West Valley City, Utah

Medal table

Main article: 2002 Winter Paralympics medal table

The top 10 NPCs by number of gold medals are listed below. The host nation (United States) is highlighted.

1 Germany1711533
2 United States*10221143
3 Norway103619
4 Austria9101029
5 Russia79521
6 Canada64515
7 Switzerland64212
8 Australia6107
9 Finland4138
10 New Zealand4026
Totals (10 entries)795559193

Participating National Paralympics Committees

36 nations qualified athletes for the games. Six countries:Andorra, Chile, China, Croatia, Greece and Hungary all made their debut appearances. Slovenia was the only nation who did not send a delegation after having participated in the previous games.

Participating National Paralympic Committees

Symbol and mascot of the games

Paralympic Emblem

The logo of the Salt Lake 2002 Paralympic Winter Games is made up of three distinct marks. The sphere on the top represents the head of the Paralympic athlete and also symbolizes the global unity of the Paralympic Movement. Two broad fluid lines represent the athlete in motion. The three taegeuks beneath the athlete reproduce the green, red and blue marks on the Paralympic Flag.

2002 Paralympic Mascot


Main article: Powder, Copper, Coal and Otto

The mascot for the Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City 2002 was Otto the otter. Indigenous peoples of the Americas consider otters to be fast swimmers, though in some stories a bit of a show-off.[5] After being nearly wiped out by pollution and over-trapping the river otter has been reintroduced to Utah and can be seen along the banks of the Green River and near Flaming Gorge. The otter was chosen as the official mascot of the Salt Lake 2002 Paralympic Winter Games because he embodies vitality and agility, and represents the spirit of every Paralympian.[6][7][8]

See also


  1. ^ "Possibilité de médaille d’or : Vancouver 2010 annonce la recherche d’un concepteur pour les médailles olympiques et paralympiques" Archived 12 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine, official website of the 2010 Vancouver Games, 13 December 2007
  2. ^ "Salt Lake City 2002 Paralympic Winter Games". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Salt Lake 2002 – General Information". International Paralympic Committee. 2008. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Schedule". Archived from the original on 11 December 2004. Retrieved 29 October 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Erdoes, Richard and Ortiz, Alfonso. American Indian Myths and Legends. p. 312
  6. ^ Jerry Spangler (26 September 1999). "Mascots are Coal, Powder, Copper". Deseret News. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  7. ^ Salt Lake Organizing Committee (2001). Reach: An Educators Guide to the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games of 2002 (PDF). pp. 15–17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 November 2020. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  8. ^ Salt Lake Organizing Committee (2001). Reach: An Educators Guide to the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games of 2002 (PDF). pp. 74–77. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2020. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
Preceded byNagano Winter Paralympics Salt Lake City VIII Paralympic Winter Games (2002) Succeeded byTurin