Olympic 'lucky loonie' unveiled in Banff

The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled its 2014 "lucky loonie" Saturday at the Canadian Olympic team's Sochi Block Party event in Banff, Alta.

Tradition began when loonie was buried at centre ice at 2002 Winter Games

The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled the 2014 Lucky Loonie Saturday in Banff. (Royal Canadian Mint)

The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled its 2014 "lucky loonie" Saturday at the Canadian Olympic team's Sochi Block Party event in Banff, Alta.

The 2014 lucky loonie is a circulation coin that features the familiar design of a loon spreading its wings atop a rippling lake. It was designed by artist Emily S. Damstra and also features the logo of the Canadian Olympic team, a maple leaf and the Olympic rings.

The tradition of creating a lucky loonie began in 2002 at the Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, when, ahead of the Games, a dollar coin was buried at centre ice on the rink where the Canadian men's and women's ice hockey teams would play. Both teams won gold that year.

Since then, the Mint has produced a lucky loonie for every Games as a symbolic good luck charm for Canada's Olympic athletes.

"The 2014 lucky loonie is a special keepsake to commemorate the achievements and talent of Canada's athletes as they compete at the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games," said Ian E. Bennet, president and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.

"Canadians can wish our athletes luck by keeping this special coin produced by the Mint as well as create a lasting memory of Canada's participation at the Games."

Five million lucky loonies have been produced and will enter into circulation on Jan. 20.

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