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Pinheads at the Olympic Winter Games: Pin Trading is Huge

By Isabel Kallman

pin_trading_in_action.pngpin trading in action on the streets of downtown Vancouver

I’ve heard about the fun subculture of pin trading at Disney World from my friend Gabrielle of Design Mom. But, now that I’m at perhaps one of the greatest global get-togethers, the Olympic Winter Games, it makes sense that pin trading is the language visitors use to meet others from around the world and have fun. In fact, pin trading enthusiasts call each other pinheads. Love it!

pinhead_mom.pngmom of U.S. Olympic athlete Molly Engstrom, of the women’s hockey team

Personally, pin trading is something I can get behind because the pins are nice and small and I HATE clutter. Plus, I love the idea of kids having to barter and then living with their decisions (good or bad). It appeals to the business-side of my brain seeing all these kids hone their deal-making skills.

brother & sister organize their extensive Olympic pin collection

At the P&G Family Home I met some youngsters who have been building their Olympic pin collection since the Salt Lake City Games in 2002. Their dad is a team leader in U.S. speed skating and their collection is filled with lots of pins dedicated to that sport. They were kind enough to give me an education about the distinctions amongst of the pins. I won’t bore you with the details (but feel free to ask questions in the comment section), but the bottom line is that several factors come in to determining how valuable a pin may be. Apparently, limited edition team pins and those from media outlets have been the hardest to come by during these games.

For the youngsters I met, the most valuable pins are the ones that have the most sentimental value to them. That’s something we moms all love to hear.

Disclosure: P&G has flown me to Vancouver and is paying for my stay while here and that includes having attended the ice dancing competition last night. My opinions are my own and have not been paid for whatsoever.

Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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I had heard about this phenomenon before. Next time we go to Disney World I think I’ll try to steer the kids into collecting pins as souvenirs instead of large (heavier) items.