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No Lucky Charm for Canadian Hockey in Turin


Team Canada may have had an extra bit of luck on their way to the men's ice hockey gold medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. A Canadian coin that became known as the Lucky Loonie was imbedded near the face-off circle at center ice. But there will be no lucky charms in the ice at these Winter Games.

After Canada won the gold medal in Salt Lake City, Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky held up the coin for all to see. The so-called Lucky Loonie ended up on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame. But how did it get in the ice in the first place?

Dan Craig, the competition operations chief for ice hockey at the Turin Olympics, explained in an interview with VOA Sports.

"One of the guys took it upon themselves instead of just the orange spot, he figured he would put a gold coin there for what he considered for Hockey Canada, a lucky charm," explained Craig.

Craig, who is also the chief ice consultant for the National Hockey League, does not believe the coin affected the outcome of the men's hockey tournament. But he admits that some people do.

"Every player is superstitious in their own way. The thing is, the Loonie had its story and it is done," he said. "We are dealing with I do not know how many different countries over here and I am doing my best that I can for every single country that is here."

Dan Craig has his answer ready if Sweden, the United States, Russia or any other hockey team asks him to put some sort of lucky charm into the ice for them.

"No. Not a chance," he quipped.

Even so, several hockey officials from competing nations have inspected the ice just to make sure. After all, you can not leave something this important to luck.

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