As the story goes, the pin made to commemorate the 1975 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held in Oakland, California, did not arrive from the manufacturer until the event, held in February of that year, had long ago concluded. Competitors subsequently received their event pins by U.S. mail.1
Because the 1975 U.S. Championships pin was not available to the general public, it is now considered to be one of the three most difficult-to-find pins from a U.S. Championship. The other two pins elusive to collectors are from the 1964 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held in Cleveland, Ohio, and the 1958 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Read the blog from The Netropolitan about the 1958 pin.
Everything about the design of the 1975 pin places it squarely in middle-1970s America. Along the top circumference is the event name: “United States Figure Skating Championships.” The central design is a large “’75” with opposing shields of the USFSA and the host club, St. Moritz Ice Skating Club. The event location and club name are along the bottom circumference. Other than the skate blade that is part of the USFSA shield, there is no use of a figure skating or winter-theme motif on the pin.
The pin shown here has an unusual history and journey, having been acquired by The Curator from a former Canadian national ladies champion who was given the pin by a U.S. competitor sometime after 1975. For nearly three decades, the pin sat undisturbed—and all but forgotten—in storage in the skater’s Ottawa home until it came to rest in the permanent collection of The Netropolitan. It is not known how many of the 1975 U.S. Championships pin exist today, but it is safe to believe there are precious few.
Enjoy O, Canada. 1975.
1 Source: Former skater who competed in the Senior Pairs event at the 1975 U.S. Championships.