Alpine skiing: Lucky loonie helps Hudec end Canadian drought

Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:28am EST
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By Martyn Herman

ROSA KHUTOR, LONDON (Reuters) - Jan Hudec had just won Canada's first Olympic Alpine skiing medal for 20 years but his first priority was making sure someone dug up his lucky loonie.

It is a tradition in Canada's ski team to bury a dollar coin, known as a loonie, on the finish line for good luck so after claiming a bronze medal in the super-G it was no wonder the injury-plagued 32-year-old wanted it back.

"After the second warm-up yesterday I almost forgot and I went to the finish line and buried a loonie," Hudec told reporters after winning Canada's first Olympic Alpine skiing medal since Ed Podivinsky's downhill bronze in 1994.

"I thought it would either be good luck or in the worst case scenario and it's not good luck it would be worth more than a dollar in the morning," he added.

"Our president is up there digging for it now. Doing the donkey work. Maybe I should join him," Hudec said as he gave meticulous directions over the team radio.

Minutes later Hudec, flexing his sore back, was re-united with the coin, holding it aloft for an impromptu photo session.

"I'll have to frame that, or maybe sell it on Ebay or something, I don't know. I'll keep it and it'll end up in one of my mum's tubs somewhere," he joked.

Hudec's journey to the Olympic podium has been circuitous.   Continued...

Canada's third-placed Jan Hudec celebrates with a flag during a flower ceremony after the men's alpine skiing Super-G competition during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Cente February 16, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar