Lacking in Character. 1970.

1970 European Championships at The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins

There is an old saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That saying perhaps never has been more apropos than when it comes to the excess of pins made to commemorate the 1970 European Figure Skating Championships, held in Leningrad, USSR. Fair warning: For all who have arrived at this blog be advised that it is not complimentary of the pins issued for this event. So remember as you read along that this blog expresses the opinion of The Curator, and your opinion and thoughts may differ. And that’s as it should be.

If there were to be a contest for the most unattractive figure skating pins ever made to commemorate a major event, there likely would be a clear and unimpeachable winner: any pin made for the 1970 European Championships. “Any pin” is used here because the event was marked by who knows how many pins issued over who knows how many years. And, safe of a couple pins, all are made of an aluminum alloy and show little creativity or style.

In the collection of The Netropolitan are nearly 30 different pins that mark the Leningrad event. The Curator decided several years ago to stop collecting pins from this event because different versions of pins continued to surface, which diluted the very meaning of a “commemorative” pin. And to top it off, it’s highly unlikely that all those varieties were issued at the time of the event but instead were produced as one long shameless victory lap by the Soviet Union over having hosted the championship.

The multi-color, enamel pin is of nice quality to mark what is surely a memorable event in Canadian figure skating history.

In the first gallery below are a variety of logo pins with varying designs. Some of the pins are similar to one another but little cohesiveness is seen overall. Of most interest, if one can try to find some good in the 1970 European Championships pins, are the first two that feature a Fresnel effect where, when moved, the main logo design alternates with a silhouette of the skaters beneath. The pins in the gallery range in size from the smallest at approximately 9/16″ in diameter (1.4 cm) to the largest at approximately 1″ x 1-9/16″ (2.5 cm x 4 cm).

The second gallery features a series of special-issue pins and a participant medal. All the special-issue pins are the same design, but the bar attached at the bottom is coded in a different color based on role in the event. Each pin measures approximately 1-5/8″ x 2-5/8″ (4.1 cm x 6.6 cm):

  • ISU Delegate, Competitor
  • Coach, Referee
  • Team Leader, Federation
  • Organizing Committee, Press

Last up in the gallery is a large, heavy participant medal that measures 4″ in diameter (10 cm). If there is one item from the 1970 event that can be considered to be of any quality at all, it is the participant medal. As can be seen, this particular example has a bit of a history, with surface wear visible on both the face and reverse. The Curator believes the surface wear adds character—something the pins from the 1970 European Championships lack.

Enjoy Lacking in Character. 1970.

1970 European Figure Skating Championships Pin Galleries

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  • 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.
  • 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.

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