Pin swapping and collecting was very popular at the Beijing Winter Olympics as volunteers, athletes and the media all competed to get the best collection before the Games ended.
Showcasing the pin collection on the lanyard that contains the Olympic accreditation badge is one way to invite others to take action.
Curating the best collection means a variety of Team Pins, Official Volunteer Pins, and Media Company Pins.
Trading is always popular at the Olympics, but it appears to have gained even more momentum in Beijing – perhaps due to limited social interactions due to the restrictions within the closed circuit.
The rarest team pins are the most coveted, with Saudi Arabia and Haiti among favorites as they only have one athlete from each country at the Games as both countries make their Winter Olympic debuts in 2022.
Norway was also in demand as the country topped the medals table at the games.
Contemporary pins are also popular, including the Russian Olympic Committee pin, a nod to headlines at the Games, which were dominated by the controversy surrounding 15-year-old figure skater Kamila Valieva’s positive drug test.
For a rare or coveted pin, people often offer multiple pins in return.
There are etiquette rules for pin trading displayed on a white board at the Main Media Center (MMC) in Beijing. All pins should be Olympic and all exchanges should be “voluntary and friendly”.
In the final week of the Games, the Beijing 2022 volunteers in particular have started to improve their collections by reaching out to anyone wearing a pin collection to request or swap pins.
The gold and red CNN pins were very popular, with some athletes saying this is because CNN is the only English news channel available on the hotel TVs within the bubble.