Just the name—Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy—conjures visions of the high life. Skiing at one of Europe’s finest resorts. Shopping in exclusive boutiques in the town centre. Dining on international cuisine in the finest restaurants. Touring some of the most magnificent scenery in northern Italy. And when the 1963 World Figure Skating Championships were in town, the event and those attending brought even more sophistication to an already jet-setting city.
The pins issued to commemorate the 1963 World Championships are impressive, much like Cortina itself, making them substantial keepsakes of the sport’s pinnacle event. Other than the various officials’ pins issued for the 1972 European Figure Skating Championships, held in Gothenburg, Sweden, the Cortina pins are among the largest known to The Curator of The Netropolitan. Measuring 1-5/8″ x 2-3/8″ (approx. 4 cm x 6 cm), the heavy pins would have displayed well on the lapel of a winter coat, which would have been a necessity in the crisp, late-February evenings of Cortina. A double pinback mechanism was needed to hold the pins in place.
Multi-color, semi-circular patterns sweep upward from the blade, creating the look of tracings on the ice. Indeed, the pin itself—with a cool, bluish-silver patina—is reminiscent of an ice surface.
The design of the Cortina pin is complex, featuring elements that represent the sport, the venue, the topography, and the event participants and officials. Along the top are abbreviations for the host and sanctioning organizations: F.I.S.G. (Federazione Italiana Sport del Ghiaccio), C.O.N.I. (Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano), and I.S.U. (International Skating Union). At the center of the pin, a light blue mountain range—the Dolomites that form a part of the southern Alps—rises above a depiction of the outdoor stadium where the event was contested. It is the same stadium where the figure skating events were staged during the 1956 Olympic Winter Games. Below the stadium is the stylized word “Cortina” in blue, resting above a skate blade in white. Multi-color, semi-circular patterns sweep upward from the blade, creating the look of tracings on the ice. Indeed, the pin itself—with a cool, bluish-silver patina—is reminiscent of an ice surface. Below the skate blade are the event details: “Campionati del Mondo di Pattinaggio Artistico e Danza su Ghiaccio, 28 Febb. – 3 Marzo 1963.” The bottom of the pin is reserved for special designations.
As with the pin produced for the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships (detailed in this blog), the colors of the blade tracings—green, red, blue, black, and yellow—are borrowed from those of the Olympic rings. And although the colors of the Olympic rings are said to represent the universality of sport, the same colors may have been used in the Cortina pin to represent the universality of figure skating.
In the gallery below are four special-designation pins from the Cortina event. The first is marked “Concorrente” (“Competitor”), the second “Ufficiale” (“Official”), the third “Organizzazione” (“Organizing Committee”), and the last “Stampa” (“Press”). Notice that the wording of the designations picks up a different color from the skate blade tracings.
Enjoy Italian Ice. 1963.