Winter Olympics 2002 Ice Hockey Winter Olympics 2002 Ice Hockey


Lucky loonie

Buried coin proves to be golden for Canadian teams

Posted: Monday February 25, 2002 2:04 PM

By Eric Francis, SLAM! Sports

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- Even though it can't buy much down here, the Canadian dollar proved to be worth its weight in gold yesterday.

The value of the loonie rose sharply following yesterday's gold-medal game when Wayne Gretzky revealed a dollar coin had been secretly imbedded at center ice for good luck.

"The people who made the ice here [at the E Center] are from Canada and before the tournament they buried a loonie under the ice," beamed Gretzky, pulling the coveted coin out of his pocket.

"We dug it out after the game and we're going to present it to the Hockey Hall of Fame. We got two medals out of it, so it's pretty special."

Salt Lake Organizing officials hired ice technician Dan Craig and the two Zamboni drivers from Edmonton.

SkyReach Centre, home of the Oilers, is known for having one of the best ice surfaces in the NHL, and Craig's crew was brought on board to ensure the large, Olympic-sized ice was up to the highest standards for the tourney.

They placed the loonie deep at center ice, spurring several players from the Canadian women's team to get on their hands and knees to look at the good luck charm following their gold medal win.

"I hope they don't get fired," laughed Gretzky of his SkyReach pals.

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