An Event of Distinction. 1982.

The 1982 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the now-demolished Market Square Arena, has two distinctions when it comes to pins: first, the main logo pin was the smallest issued to date to commemorate a U.S. Championship, and second, the event featured an official mascot—Shivers the Penguin—that also was immortalized in a pin. Shivers is believed to be the first official mascot to represent a U.S. Championship.

Another distinction the 1982 U.S. Championships holds, not related to pins, is a winter storm that dropped 18 inches of snow on the city on Sunday, January 31, that heavily and negatively impacted attendance at that afternoon’s Exhibition of Champions. According to ticket sales, the event was a sellout, so the limited attendance was unexpected. Just before the start of the exhibition, an announcement was made inviting everyone in the arena to move down into any open seat. Speculation among attendees was the announcement was made at the request ABC Television, which was covering the event, so it would appear less like the event was not well-attended.

An octagonal arrangement of four skate boots and blades enclosed on a blue enamel background creates the central logo element for the 1982 pin. Where the heels of the extended skate blades meet is a circular area with a red dot at the center, likely meant to symbolize Monument Circle in the city of Indianapolis, where major thoroughfares converge into a roundabout. It is a subtle and well-done tip of the hat to a landmark in the host city.

An octagonal arrangement of four skate boots and blades enclosed on a blue enamel background creates the central logo element for the 1982 pin.

On a gold-colored base metal, the main pin measures approximately 5/8″ x 3/4″ (1.6 cm x 1.9 cm). Above and below the logo, on a white background, are the event location, year, and name: “Indianapolis, ’82 Nationals.” Through much of the 1980s, the colloquial term “Nationals” (or a variation) was used in place of the formal event name, U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Imagine trying to make that wording work on a 5/8″ wide pin!

Shivers the Penguin debuted to great success at the 1982 U.S. Championships and appeared on ice between events and at other times during the week. The pin, also on a gold-colored base metal and also measuring 5/8″ x 3/4″ (1.6 cm x 1.9 cm), shows the flightless bird dressed in a cozy ski cap (which more resembles a Santa’s cap) and a warm scarf emblazoned with “’82 Nationals.” His skates allow him to glide effortlessly along. Shivers was the first in a series of mascots (or characters) that would mark the U.S. Championships over the next few years.

Enjoy An Event of Distinction. 1982.


1982 U.S. Championships Gallery

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