SLAM!Sports
February 19, 2006
Team Canada's hockey gold: 2002 - Salt Lake City, Utah
By GEORGE GROSS -- Sun Media


Half a century is an awfully long time.

That's what went through the minds of Team Canada, as they skated onto the ice at the Salt Lake City Arena in the 2002 Olympic Games.

Indeed, Canada, the birth mother of hockey, hadn't won an Olympic gold medal for 50 years. Unbelievable!

Wayne Gretzky, very much in the news these days, assembled a team that offered a mix of experienced and young, fast players and handed it to coach Pat Quinn. The big Irishman, who looks after the Toronto Maple Leafs, believed only in one goal - the gold medal for Team Canada.

Unbeknownst to the team, Canadian ice-maker Trent Evans buried a 1987 loonie in the ice under the red line, for good luck. And Lady Luck, plus Quinn's Irish luck, were on Team Canada's side.

And Gretzky, who was used to Stanley Cup triumphs, was never happier than to have his picture taken with the boys who ended Canada's gold medal famine after half a century.


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