Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – A Loonie For Luck (July 19)

My book of choice for this week’s Friday meme combo is A Loonie For Luck by Roy MacGregor. I just picked up this book today at Bearly Used Books in Parry Sound. It looks like an interesting read and I’ll probably get into it soon. The following is from the cover of the book:

loonie for luck largeIn February 2002, the greatest hockey teams this country could muster headed to Salt Lake City to compete in the Winter Olympics. Our men and women hoped to go all the way to the finals, but it had been fifty long years since the Canadians had won Olympic gold. In the past, they had come close – it was just that luck always seemed to be against them.

This time, however, their chances to end the long drought were good. The women looked set for a medal – although the all-powerful American team stood between them and the ultimate prize. The Canadian men faced strong opponents, too, but prospects were good for the all-star team assembled by the great Wayne Gretzky. And this time, both teams had a secret weapon. So secret, in fact, they didn’t even know it existed. At first.

Like all good secrets this one was too good not to pass along. Under the surface at centre ice, Trent Evans had hidden a Canadian loonie. The expert ice maker had been invited down from Edmonton to help install the ice for the Games, and this was his little good-luck charm for our Olympic hockey teams. Perhaps, he figured, the guys could use some “home ice” advantage.

A Loonie for Luck is the true story of that loonie and the magic it wove at Salt Lake City. It follows Wayne Gretzky, Trent Evans, and the men’s and women’s teams through their time at the Games. And it pays tribute to the role of superstition and chance in hockey – a part of the sport not always acknowledged, but one that brings real magic to the game.
With the close co-operation of Wayne Gretzky and Trent Evans, Roy MacGregor tells the inside story of how the coin came to be in TrentEvans’ pocket and then buried under centre ice. He tells how, throughout the Games, the loonie was in danger of being uncovered as the secret began to spread, and how, as the tournament progressed, with the players in need of every break they could get, the good luck miraculously held.

This true story, brilliantly illustrated by Bill Slavin, is full of suspense, humour, and charm. It will delight every Canadian who felt a surge of pride for our athletes at Salt Lake City.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

book beginningsBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of A Loonie For Luck:

Trent Evans is a creature of habit. You want the day to go right, and that means you begin at the local Tim Hortons, on Sherwood Park’s Main Boulevard, with a large coffee, black, to go.

I agree that you need the day to go right and coffee is always the best start, but I don’t think that Tim Hortons would be my first choice.

Friday 56The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of A Loonie For Luck:

Wayne Gretzky had been growing increasingly intense. The cameras had found him in the stands, game in, game out, with his face buried in his hands, or wearing the same stunned and dejected look Canadians had seen four years earlier when he sat, alone, on the Canadian bench in Nagano, long after the ill-fated shootout had decided in favour of the Czechs.

I remember the Nagano game well. I was in college and a whole bunch of us stayed up all night watching it. We pretty much had to go straight to class at the end of it, but I’m not sure how much we took in that day. Apart from the result, it was a good night anyway.

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