Last Updated on December 28, 2020 by Netropolitan Museum
The Apollo 11 moon landing was still some five months away when the world watched a different kind of international event in early 1969: the 1969 World Figure Skating Championships, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the famed Broadmoor World Arena. The World Championships returned to Colorado Springs and The Broadmoor just a short four years after having hosted the 1965 event (read the At The Broadmoor post). In a post-Olympic year, the competitive landscape often looks different, which certainly was the case in 1969. Ladies champion Peggy Fleming had retired, as had Emmerich Danzer, the last Austrian man to hold a world title. Irina Rodnina was about to embark on an 11-year dominance in pairs skating. And the ice dance world would see Diane Towler and Bernard Ford win the last of their four titles, giving way to Russian dominance for the next decade.
The pin has both dimension and strong visual appeal and is one of only a few from a major championship that is oval in shape.
There is a sharp contrast in the look and feel between the pins issued for the 1965 World Championships and those issued in 1969. Although pins from both years are high quality and well-produced, the 1965 pins exhibit a decidedly more traditional and elegant look versus the sleeker and more modern look of those from 1969. The times were changing, and fast. Shown in the gallery below are variations of pins issued for the event, including four special-issue versions.
Likely sold to the public at the event, the first pin features a stylized “69” logo at the center, accented with a world globe placed inside the counter of the numeral “9” and a skate boot and blade with the year inside the numeral “6.” Around the circumference of the oval-shaped pin is the event name and host facility: “World Figure Skating Championships, The Broadmoor.” On a gold-color base metal, the pin measures 1″ x 1-1/2″ (2.54 cm x 3.81 cm). White, blue, red, and violet enamels fill the artwork, and an unusual “pebbling” effect with a slight sparkle is seen in the violet color where the numerals overlap. The pin has both dimension and strong visual appeal and is one of only a few from a major championship that is oval in shape.
The second pin is identical to the first except in size, measuring larger at 1-3/16″ x 1-5/16″ (approx. 3 cm x 3.3 cm). This version likely was given only to those who assisted with the event in some way.
Next is the first of the four special-issue pins from The Netropolitan collection. The Competitor pin incorporates the main oval shape and design at its center, surrounded by a rich red field—again, with a pebbling effect that perhaps was used to signify the importance of the competitors. The rectangular pin is on a gold-color base metal and measures 1-3/16″ x 1-5/16″ (approx. 3 cm x 3.3 cm). It is labeled “Competitor” at the base.
The final three special-issue pins—labeled “Official,” “Professional,” and “Guest”—are all identical in design and size to the Competitor pin except for the background color used on each. The Official pin is on a clean white background and would have been given to those who fulfilled a service at the event. The Professional pin is on a sleek black background and would have been given to coaches. The Guest pin is on a vibrant blue background and would have been given to special invitees of the event.
It was common for a number of special-issue pins to be produced in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly for World and European Championships. The Netropolitan collection includes pins issued only to ISU members, competitors, judges, referees, team leaders, organizing committee members, physicians, members of the press, photographers, and others. Examples of these already have been featured in other posts at The Netropolitan. Perhaps another special-issue version—or even a new variation—will emerge that can be added to the 1969 World Championships gallery.
Enjoy At The Broadmoor Plus Four. 1969.