A Threepeat. 1978.

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by Netropolitan Museum

1978 World Junior Championships at The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins

For a third consecutive year, the ski resort of Megève, France, hosted an important international figure skating event when the 1978 World Junior Figure Skating Championships were contested at the city’s Palais des Sports. The two prior junior world events in 1976 and 1977 had been referred to as “ISU Junior Figure Skating Championships,” but 1978 brought with it an official renaming of the event to include the more prestigious word “World,” allowing junior-level skaters to earn an ISU world title.

More change was coming. For the event’s third turn in Megève, the pin design was updated to a cleaner and simpler look than that seen in 1976 and 1977 (read the blog about those two pins here). On a silver-colored base metal, the 1978 pin is dominated by graduated-size circles that create not only an interesting visual pattern but hint at the precision of compulsory figures, which were formerly the basis of the sport. Up until 1990, figure skating pins often featured design elements reminiscent of compulsory figure tracings.

On a silver-colored base metal, the 1978 pin is dominated by graduated-size circles that create not only an interesting visual reference but hint at the precision of compulsory figures …

Set inside the smallest of the circles are pair skaters in an elegant inside spread eagle. The image is quintessential 1970s figure skating. To the right in all capital letters are the event name, location, and year: “World Junior, Megeve, 1978.” Unlike the 1976 and 1977 pins, the second “e” in Megève does not feature the accent. A skate blade is used effectively as both a design element and an indicator of the sport the pin commemorates. The simplicity of the pin is appealing, with a textural finish that adds dimension. It measures approximately 1-1/4″ in diameter (3.2 cm).

Of interest is that this junior championship saw both Brian Boitano of the United States and Brian Orser of Canada compete against one another more than ten years prior to the infamous “Battle of the Brians” at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Canada. Although the 1978 match-up could not have been termed a battle, it was Boitano who prevailed in Megève, winning the bronze medal while Orser finished just off the podium in fourth place.

Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: A Threepeat. 1978.
(This is an edited edition of a blog titled “Three for Three. 1978.” originally published February 6, 2021.)

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