It’s official Canada. We are in the month of February. And that means we are just under a couple of weeks away until we host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. Of course, the entire nation will be watching and rooting for its countrymen to make it to the podium in as many events as possible. And it goes without saying that Canada is most certainly looking for big things to happen at the hockey rink.
With as skilled a team as Canada has in both the men’s and women’s hockey tournaments, a little extra luck couldn’t possibly hurt right? Well, back in 2002, Canadian ice-make Trent Evans felt that way and decided to bury a loonie – our famed Canadian one dollar coin – beneath centre ice at the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. That year, the men’s and women’s Team Canada hockey teams both won gold!
This year, Canadians are hoping that maybe the “Lucky Loonie” will bring our hockey teams that extra dose of luck once again. Except this time, the loonie will not be buried beneath centre ice. After the 2002 games, the loonie was excavated from the ice and presented to Team Canada general manager and hockey legend, Wayne Gretzky.
Gretzky has since donated this loonie to the Hockey Hall of Fame in downtown Toronto. And now all visitors to the Hockey Hall of Fame will have the opportunity to join in the “luck wishing” practice by giving the famed “Lucky Loonie” a rub!
That right! As The Toronto Sun reports today, “a hole in the protective hard plastic covering the $1 icon was opened Monday by legendary hockey coach and commentator Don Cherry for the first time in eight years.” Visitors are encouraged to go ahead and stick their fingers through the hole to touch the loonie in a symbolic gesture of well-wishes to Team Canada.
For those worrying about the potential tarnishing of the loonie due to so many grubby and potentially dirty fingers touching the storied coin, Hockey Hall of Fame spokesman Bob Stellick has already thought of that. A protective coating was added to the loonie to protect its shine and luster.
He knows many hockey fans are superstitious, and like Don Cherry, feel that rubbing the loonie may just provide the extra luck that Team Canada needs to secure gold once again at the Winter Olympics. The loonie will be available for rubbing all through the duration of the Olympics, and perhaps even until the end of February.
“It’s worth it, come down and just touch it,” said Cherry who was the first to offer his well-wishes to the men’s and women’s Canadian hockey teams. Never one to shy away from his support of Team Canada, Cherry was decked out in a red jacket and Team Canada baseball cap at the loonie’s unveiling.
So do as the man says and take advantage of this unique opportunity to help Team Canada regain hockey’s gold medals at the Olympics. The Hockey Hall of Fame is located at the corner of Front and Yonge in downtown Toronto. General admission is $15. Go Canada!