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Pin collecting

September 24, 2009
  As many of you know, the winter Olympics are coming to Vancouver/Whistler in February of 2010.  Although I am not an Olympic athlete, I am participating in the fun with pin collecting.  Pin collecting and trading, if you were unaware, is a huge hobby.  People from all over the world covering all ages trade and collect pins.  I have even met people who make a living at it.  Olympic pin collecting is just about a sport in it’s own right.
  Anyone can get involved in pin collecting,  I was bit by the bug when I was about ten years old and was given a mascot pin from the Moscow Olympics.   While other people collect many pins, I have made Olympic mascots my niche in pin collecting.  That way it keeps things from getting out of hand.
  Last month there was a pin trading meeting in Vancouver where many people from all over the world came to display their pins and trade.  I was able to update my collection and talk to many people who share my interest from all over.  It was so great to talk to people and find out what they treasured about pin collecting.  I am so happy I was able to get myself a pin bag to put my collection in to display and keep safe. 
   I was inspired to contact Olympic sponsors and request pins to add to my collection and have some more to trade with in case there was something that I really liked and couldn’t get for myself.  Over the last few weeks, to my great delight, I have received in the mail a number of pins.  Today, to my surprise, the mail was from Switzerland!  Omega, the official Olympic timekeeper sent me a lovely pin!  Here is the envelope it came in.  
    It has been a real education about which companies are generous and excited to share and which ones are not.  The first pin I requested and received was from Petro Canada.  They actually sent me one for the Paralympics as well.  Quite generous!  Following that I have also received pins from Ricoh, ICBC, and Teck.  I learned that Teck is official supplier of gold, silver, and copper used to produce the Olympic and Paralympic medals for the athletes.  I am well aware that these companies don’t have to send these gifts, but I really believe that it shows that they are just as excited about the games as we are.  Rest assured, with each pin I get, whether it is from downtown Vancouver, 40 kms away, or as far away as Switzerland, I am truly overjoyed when the mail comes in and there is another yellow envelope.
  So to all the sponsors who share in the excitement of the games, I thank you for your generosity, and hope that I can return in sharing the excitement in February 2010. 
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