The Sleeping Giant. 1975.

Denmark, the Scandinavian land of Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid (not the silly Disney version, the real Den Lille Havfrue), Tivoli Gardens, and all things hygge saw competitors gather in the nation’s capital of Copenhagen for the 1975 European Figure Skating Championships. As the locals might say, “Det var en spændende tid i kunstskøjteløb!”

In the year before the 1976 Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria, the European Championships played an important role in the continuing rise of skating’s greatest artist, John Curry. At that event and the subsequent World Championships, Curry served notice that his time, at last, had arrived by improving over his 1974 placing in both competitions. The Sleeping Giant was awakening. The rest, as is said, is history.

History has marked the 1975 European Championships with a small and delightful pin that integrates both the cultural heritage of the host country and an iconographic skating theme from the past. The central form, meant to represent a judge, is dressed in traditional Danish clothing and holds up a “7” and a “5”a play on the time when judges manually presented a skater’s marks by holding up numbers. The pin displays no other element of the sport. The event name and year are worked in cleanly and simply: “EM” (for Europæisk Mesterskab, or European Championships) and “75.” The Danish flag accents the upper right corner of the pin and balances the design.

History has marked the 1975 European Championships with a small and delightful pin that integrates both the cultural heritage of the host country and an iconographic skating theme from the past.

Shown in the gallery are four pins from the event. Each is identical in design, with a slight variation appearing along the bottom of the pin, and each measures 1″ x 1-1/4″ (2.54 cm x 3.175 cm). The first pin shown was likely sold at the event while the next three are special-issue versions made for and given only to those associated with the event (note the designation on each pin): Press, Competitor, and ISU. Interestingly, as is seen on other special-issue pins from events held in Europe, these designations are written in English.

Enjoy The Sleeping Giant. 1975.


1975 European Championships Gallery

  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.
  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.
  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.
  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.

2 thoughts on “The Sleeping Giant. 1975.”

  1. […] Shown in the gallery are all four of the pins, arranged together by color. The original enamel pin is on the left, and the second production pin is on the right. Unlike some other events where pins sold out early and left collectors permanently empty-handed, the Danes’ solution to offer an alternate version of the lapel pin was commendable. For a culturally infused figure skating pin from Denmark, see the 1975 European Figure Skating Championships blog. […]

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