Olympic pin trade is another victim of Covid this year

A few years ago, Bud Kling added three rooms to his home in Pacific Palisades, California. The builders used extra concrete along with metal beams for reinforcement, not because Mr. Kling was expecting a crowd. The room was not for people. They were designed to store and display his collection of 30,000 powerful Olympic pins, colorful and endlessly changing souvenirs that have been bought and sold at the Olympic Games for decades. ..

Even when the builder was completed, 74-year-old tennis coach Kling had far more pins than could fit in the house. He also owns about 100,000 “trading pins” (multiples of the same interchangeable pins), some of which are brought to the Olympics. His stash is piled up in his garage and rented storage space.

“I have a very patient wife,” Mr. Kling said unnecessarily.

The organizer Tokyo Olympics Announced the 2020 Games Will be late For a year, and in March, Overseas spectators are not allowed Few were as depressed as Mr. Kling and other Olympic hardcore pin traders. For them, games are just part of the sport. They exchange pins for 1 minute per minute, perhaps 2 minutes, at an improvisational scrum outside the venue or at a designated trading center.

The collapse of the pin trading market will rarely be recorded in the ledger of losses suffered by the Tokyo Olympics. According to the country’s organizers, it will cost more than $ 15 billion, of which about $ 3 billion , Due to renegotiation of the contract due to a one year delay. But since the prices for hosting the world’s largest rally began to skyrocket more than a decade ago, stuffing the national treasury has not been the host’s purpose. Countries are fighting for the Olympics, hoping for the ultimate look-at-me moment, a week-long sophisticated ad for the entire planet.

If the tournament is held, Tokyo will get a healthy part of self-promotion. National opinion poll Overwhelming majority of people in Japan Prolonged fourth virus wave — I would like another delay or complete cancellation.

For Olympic participants around the world, these games will be remembered as parties that had to be skipped. This includes about 250 pin traders who plan their lives at intervals of two years between the Summer and Winter Olympics.

Never heard Olympic pin? They are part of a portable, wearable promotion and branding for athletic delegations, the National Olympic Committee, corporate sponsors, news media outlets, and cities bidding for the Olympics. (The New York Times has created its own pins and provided dozens of them to reporters covering the event.)

For those who don’t move, a pin is like a $ 7 souvenir that you throw into a drawer or wastebasket as soon as you return from the game. When thousands of people buy pins and find a nest of business outside the venue, many voluntarily exchange pins. The host country caters to both casual and enthusiastic fans by producing a large number of pins for sale in souvenir shops.

Japan was preparing for a pinch crowd. According to a spokeswoman for the tournament, the country’s organizers are making 600 officially licensed pins and there are 12 souvenir shops in Tokyo. Well, there is no demand for this bounty. It’s a solution problem. Not only Japanese fans can participate in the Olympics. Since the transaction is actually a face-to-face act, there are concerns that it may not be recommended or prohibited.

The convention’s public relations office made no comments other than sending a “playbook” outlining the safety procedures issued in February. No mention is made of pin trading, but one of the principles is that participants “minimize physical interaction with others” and “avoid closed spaces and crowds as much as possible”. “It says it needs to be. This makes pin trading almost impossible.

Coca-Cola, a longtime Olympic sponsor, has built a pin trading center on the premises of the Olympics. A spokeswoman said there were pin-related promotions, including a chance to win pins representing 47 prefectures in Japan. A spokeswoman said the company is still considering whether to open and host a pin trading center in Tokyo.

For many years, Mr. Kling has been hired by Coca-Cola to help supervise and manage the Pin Trading Center. This volunteer position has made him an informal pinzer of the game. Some roles may enforce etiquette and indictment. This means that tables should be shared fairly, counterfeit pins should be eliminated, and new entrants should not be overcharged.

“Occasionally, I hear an older man telling his child,’My pin is bigger, so I need to replace two,'” he said. “We have someone 8 I don’t want my old child to wear down. “

Some people are in for money. Olympic pins have over 80,000 eBay lists. These speculators spent a golden moment in Nagano, Japan in 1998, but the organizers couldn’t produce enough pins for reasons no one explained. Enthusiastic trading continued. Some have earned $ 40,000 in a few days. The Pin Economy has reached the moment of the tulip bubble.

“I know anyone who knows they paid a down payment for their house with the money they earned in Nagano,” he said, attending the 2017 Olympics and volunteering regularly at the Coca-Cola Pin Trading Center. Pin trader Sid Marantz said.

At the age of 76, Marantz retired from the family business that sold food ingredients such as salt and sugar. He got the first pin when his parents took him to the 1960 Rome Olympics. He was a big fan of Rafer Johnson, an all-rounder from UCLA who won the gold medal in the pentathlon that year.

“I was swept away by everything,” he said.

He took a track and field news tour for the next game in Montreal in 1976. This was the first time the audience was involved in a large pin deal, he said.

It’s an affordable hobby, at least for Marantz’s skilled hands. He estimates that the entire collection cost about $ 10,000. This is mainly because after the 1996 Atlanta Games, he and his three friends learned about a warehouse in Colorado, home of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, filled with 750,000 unsold pins. They tipped for $ 35,000 and bought the entire lot. Each held about 40,000 pins and the rest were sold to pin collectors around the world.

“We used to call it’mother road’,” he said of the acquisition. “This means going to the game with a pin that is virtually inexpensive, so you absolutely trade with anyone.”

In addition to making new friends, pin trading is looking for vague and hard-to-find treasures. These include pins from African delegations because they tend to form smaller teams. (Brundi’s pin is particularly appreciated. Nine players were brought to Rio in 2016.) Countries that have recently renamed will find themselves on the pin trader’s crosshairs. That means North Macedonia, the first tournament ever since. Greece was forced to add “north” to its name..

Pins from Japanese media companies have been sought after since Nagano, as they are often adorned with cute cartoon mascots. However, this genre is not exciting this time either. Tokyo 2020 Pin — Yes, the name remains the same, but I don’t care about the actual date — Marantz predicts that it will be of little value. Supply will crush demand.

Marantz and Kling had bought tickets worth thousands of dollars for an event in Tokyo, which were subsequently refunded. They have recently begun to accept that they will never really go to Japan within a few weeks.Friday, the Japanese government Extend the state of emergency In Tokyo and other prefectures until at least June 20th.

“It’s like a rock falling,” Kling said, forcing him to skip the Olympics and “hit his head.”

Olympic pin trade is another victim of Covid this year

Source link Olympic pin trade is another victim of Covid this year

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