Pin trading is the sport at the Olympics for the spectators. I have collected pins since I attended the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton. At the time I was only collecting as souvenirs but as I attended more major events I realised that pin trading was big business. Some folk only go to the host cities to pin trade.
In 1984 I attended the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. A nice lady in the tourist information office asked to swap my Scottish pin for her special Olympic pin. She told me to take care of it and not give it away because it was rare pin. I never thought much more about it and pinned it on my hat.
A few days later I was standing waiting to get into a venue when I was tapped on the shoulder and the guy behind me suggested I took the pin off my hat before someone decided to take my hat to get the pin. He said there were very few of them available.
This got me curious and I stopped by the pin traders tent and asked the experts about my pin. Turned out that there had only been 25 pins made of the one I had, making it very rare and much sought after. The expert offered me $250 for it there and then. If it was that rare I was not parting with it. Besides, I was given it and that meant something to me. I still have it.
Since then I have actively pin traded or even bought some when I found them. Through my involvement with the Commonwealth Games I have built a decent collection. I have had some mounted on foamboard and framed to hang on the wall and it is a talking point when people come to visit.
I am looking to add to my collection in Vancouver and I have already read a lot about what I should expect when I get out there. Some folk have had their own pins specially made for the occasion. I am taking with me to Vancouver the pins shown above and a few of the duplicates I have collected over the years. I would like to thank those who helped me source these pins.