I’ll be the first to admit that I collected and traded Olympic pins in 88. I’ll also confide that my pins were stolen from my backpack by a classmate. He was never caught, though I think I know who it was. There was no Encyclopedia Brown in my school to find that piece of case-breaking evidence for 25 cents. The culprit got a way with a pocket full of metal and enamel.
So you can understand why I’m a bit soured on the whole idea of pin trading. They can turn classmates into common thieves.
To me, pin traders are the band geeks of the Olympic movement. While the rest of the world is watching top athletes like Shaun White land mindblowing tricks like the Double McTwist 1260, or at least trying to pick up Swedish tourists at the bar, they’ll be in a pin trading pavilion exchanging some obscure Sarajevo ’84 pin for a Heidi & Howdy ’88 pin (which was probably stolen from me).
I don’t expect everyone to get swept up in the sports, but the pin trading movement feels like someone trying to show off their spoon collection at a Metallica concert.
Then again, I’m sitting here blogging inside while the Olympics are happening all around me, so I feel a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.
On the topic of pins, PETA got into the spirit, creating their very own pin for the 2010 Games. Something tells me it won’t be endorsed by the Canadian Olympic Committee.