So many fine and refined things come to mind when thinking of the artful and beautiful city of Vienna, Austria. Among them: the Danube, Mozart and Strauss, Wienerschnitzel, the Vienna State Opera, Gothic and baroque architecture, Baroness Schrader … and “the fine art of figure skating.”1
The city has had a long association with the sport, going back to the Viennese Style of skating (later referred to as International Style) pioneered by Jackson Haines and the 1892 formation of the International Skating Union (ISU) that included members of the Vienna School among its founders. Vienna has been called the “seat” of figure skating by many and has hosted the sport’s two premiere events—the European Figure Skating Championships and the World Figure Skating Championships—an impressive ten times each.
So let’s go back to late February 1967 in Vienna. The World Championships that year had the distinction of being the last to be skated outdoors. In the open-air arena, weather ranged from rain and snow to severe cold, and in spite of those conditions, the skating was (mostly) exceptional. Perhaps a lesser known distinction is that the event was commemorated with a significant number of lapel pins, including those issued only to competitors, event officials, media, and coaches.
The 1967 World Championships were held in the centennial year of the Wiener Eislauf-Verein (the Vienna Skating Club). The club’s masterfully designed logo sits prominently on the event pins. Notice how the letters “WEV” (representing Wiener Eislauf-Verein) are artfully woven together to create the mark: old-fashioned skate blades form the letter “W” for Wien, the letter “E” is reminiscent of blade etchings and signifies “Eislauf,” and a small inverted letter “V” not only stands for “Verein” but is cleverly used to complete the shape of the letter “W.” The logo is then fused with the number “100” to denote the club’s anniversary milestone. Shown in the gallery below are 12 pins and a participant’s medal from the event. There may be even more pins issued than those shown.
The simplicity, size, and quality of the pin … makes it one of the most beautiful ever issued for a World Championship.
The first pin shown is the main logo pin and likely would have been available for purchase. The central design element is the centennial club logo, offset in gold against a crisp white enamel background. A rich red–orange border accents the perimeter of the pin and encloses the event name and year at the bottom: “WM 1967.” The simplicity, size, and quality of the pin, measuring approximately 3/4″ square (1.9 cm), makes it one of the most beautiful ever issued for a World Championship. This particular pin has a bit of provenance, having belonged to Ardelle Sanderson (née Kloss), a United States bronze medalist in both pairs and ice dance (1937 and 1938, respectively) with partner Roland Johnson and for many years a World and Olympic-level judge.
Next in the gallery are 11 special-issue pins, all nearly identical in design:
- “Aktiv” (Competitor)
- “Trainer” (Coach)
- “ISU” (ISU Delegate)
- “Offiziell” (Official)
- “Funktionär” (Officer)
- “Technik” (Technical)
Each pin is approximately 1-1/4″ x 1-3/4″ (3.2 cm x 4.4 cm) in size; 10 of the 11 are on a gold-colored base metal while the pin designated “Technik” is instead (and somewhat curiously) made of a lightweight alloy. The unusual shape of the pin—mimicking an ice arena—is graceful and distinctive, much like the sport itself. Around the circumference, in relief, are the event name and year: “Weltmeisterschaft Eiskunstlauf 1967 Eistanzen.” On either side of the pins, skate blades serve dual purpose as decorative elements and separators between words. The main event logo is used as the central design element and below that, enclosed in a capsule-shaped area in gold, is the special designation. Further differentiation is made in the main background colors used: white, blue (a medium and a dark), green, black, and red.
The participant medal, the last item shown in the gallery, measures approximately 2-3/4″ in diameter (7 cm) and features the skyline of Vienna. The spire of St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Wiener Reisenrad (the Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel) are two of the landmarks seen in the silhouette. Around the circumference of the medal is the event name and date: “Weltmeisterschaften im Eiskunstauf Eistanzen 1967.” Interestingly, the medal features the traditional logo of the Vienna Skating Club, rather than the 100th anniversary version.
Enjoy Inclement Weather. 1967.
1With thanks to Dick Button for the quote.
1967 World Championships Gallery
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