In what is now a legendary tale, a Loonie was embedded at centre ice prior to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City to bring good luck to Canada's gold medal-winning men's and women's hockey teams.
In 2004, the Royal Canadian Mint created the first Lucky Loonie as a way of passing on its special magic to Canadian athletes as they departed for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
The Mint is continuing this tradition…each member of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Teams will receive a 2012 Lucky Loonie upon their arrival in London. Go Canada!
The Mint has a history of celebrating the Olympic movement in Canada, namely the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games, the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games and most recently as an Official Supporter of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. For each, the Mint offered a stunning series of numismatic coins and also produced the athlete medals in 1976 and 2010. Using the innovative technologies for which it is known around the world, the medals created by the Mint for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games were among the most popular in history.
In addition, the Mint produced an extensive circulation coin program for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Featuring 17 coins of various Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games disciplines (including two Lucky Loonies!), this program was honoured as Best New Coin Series at the International Association of Currency Affairs' Third "Excellence in Currency Awards" in 2010.
In 2004, the Mint released the first Lucky Loonie circulation coin. It featured the common loon design accompanied by the Canadian Olympic Committee logo.
In 2006, the Mint issued a Lucky Loonie featuring the familiar loon in flight. Designed by Quebec wildlife artist Jean-Luc Grondin, the coin also depicted the official emblem of the Canadian Olympic Team.
A loon splashing down on a body of water along, with the official emblem of the Canadian Olympic Team were featured on the 2008 Lucky Loonie. The coin was also designed by Jean-Luc Grondin.
In a departure from incorporating the loon as in previous years, the Mint issued a Lucky Loonie in celebration of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games featuring the Games' official "Inukshuk" logo.
The Lucky Loonie has been associated with other sporting competitions – both nationally and internationally. Perhaps there is a story from your hometown!
At the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games curling competition in the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, two Lucky Loonies were buried – one at each end of the sheet. Canada's Brad Gushue went on to win the gold medal.
Team Russia has also made use of the Lucky Loonie in the 2008 IIHF World Championships. The coin was buried at centre ice and then dug out after Russia beat Canada 5–4 in overtime.
In preparation for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Loonies were embedded in many of the Olympic venues being built in Vancouver and Whistler.