Olympics – Pin Collecting

Pin collecting is the “unofficial sport” of the Olympic Games and has been practiced by its spectators at every opportunity.

The first team pins were struck by the Germans when the Modern Olympiad returned in 1896 during its Games in Athens, Greece.

Then, in Stockholm 1912, the first official Olympic souvenir Games pins were sold to spectators. The most popular pin then depicts the official poster of the Games. And people all over the world, who have come to the Games, have been collecting and trading the pins ever since!

Paris 1924 became a landmark in Olympic pin collecting because it built the first Olympic Athlete Village. Living in closer quarters facilitated pin trading among athletes and officials. At that time the athlete pins from Sweden, Holland, Poland, Great Britain, Switzerland and France were the most popular Olympic pins traded.

It was in Helsinki, Finland’s Games of 1952 (the first ones that I personally remember) that the first corporate sponsor pin was produced by a Finnish margarine company.

The first Olympic Games which I attended – in Melbourne, Australia, in 1956 – were filled with the excitement of people meeting people and exchanges of all kinds were made. The Olympic Spirit was alive and well in athletes, officials, visitors and local spectators.

In the Winter Olympic Games at Squaw Valley, California in 1960, Sylvania Electric became the first corporate sponsor to produce a pin with the Olympic rings. The availability and popularity of pin trading has increased by leaps and bounds every time the Games have come to America.

It was at the Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York in 1980 that the famous USA – Russia hockey game happened! But pin trading fever also caught hold in Lake Placid as thousands of “pinheads” roamed the main street making trades. The Olympic Collector’s Club, with members from 35 countries, started afterward, in 1982.

The next big change in Olympic Pin Collecting came in Los Angeles Summer Games of 1984 when pin trading became the “Official Olympic Spectators Sport” for all future Olympic Games. Sam the Eagle mascot pins were a big hit. About 17 million pins showing 1000 designs were collected or traded.

For the Calgary Olympic Winter Games of 1988, the Coca-Cola company sponsored the first Pin Trading Center. This is a tradition that has continued at every Olympic Games since then.

At the Winter Olympic Games, Torino, Italy in 2006, the Torino Olympic Organizing Committee’s “Look of the Games” multi-layer color graphics introduced a unique design feature into its pins. This feature has been continued by the Vancouver Committee’s “Sea to Sky” graphics for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.

When you come to Vancouver in less than 100 days, you will see all the pin trading happening and you will likely be caught up in the fervor as it is a great way to meet people from all around the globe.

You can begin collecting Olympic pins from the official Vancouver Olympic website’s store right now! Some editions are already sold-out, some are on back-order and many are still available. The designs this year are stunning.

Go to the official site, here Vancouver Useful Links Archive from TravelVacationReview

©2009 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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