Canada Got A Little Help From A Loonie

The Canadian dollar might not be worth a whole lot in the United States, but it proved to be worth gold in Salt Lake City.

Following Canada's gold medal victories in both men's and women's hockey at the 2002 Winter Olympics, it was revealed that a Canadian dollar coin, affectionately known as the Loonie, had been secretly placed at center ice by the Canadian ice making crew 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," announced Canadian general manager Wayne Gretzky who was given the coin by ice technician Dan Craig of Edmonton.

"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."

Craig, who works for the SkyReach Centre, home of the NHL's Edmonton 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.

coverThey 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," joked Gretzky.

The legendary story sparked a recent book: A Loonie for Luck by great Canadian writer Roy MacGregor