Paris to Cortina to Garmisch. 1956.

Figure Skating Pins Profile: 1956 European Championships

Concluding just five days before the 1956 Olympic Winter Games opened in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, the 1956 European Figure Skating Championships in Paris crowned Europe’s best skaters during essentially a stopover on their way to Northern Italy. Then, just ten days after the Games concluded, the world’s best skaters would all head to Garmisch-Partenkirschen, Germany, for the 1956 World Figure Skating Championships (read the blog). It must have been a whirlwind time for many on the international figure skating circuit in 1956.

Those who competed at the 1956 European Championships may have carried with them to the subsequent events the heavy, well-produced participant medal that commemorated the competition. The silver-color medal, which measures approximately 2″ in diameter (5 cm), features a mountain and outdoor skating scene on the face, done in detailed relief. The sheet of ice, no doubt with a light dusting of snow, beckons all to lace up their skates for a lazy Sunday afternoon of fun. The stylized letters of the “FFSG” (for Fédération Française des Sports de Glace, France’s governing body of ice sports) are tucked around the bottom of the medal, and the maker’s mark is etched just to the right of FFSG. The quaint and serene scene depicted is far from the metropolitan scene of Paris where the event took place at the Vélodrome d’Hiver in late January, but the medal is a charming memento of what surely was an exciting competition leading up to the Olympics.

The silver-color medal from the 1956 European Championships features a mountain and outdoor skating scene on the face, done in detailed relief.

The reverse of the medal is inscribed simply and in all-capital letters: “Championnat d’Europe, Paris 1956.” Somewhat utilitarian but nonetheless elegant. In more than 40 years of collecting, The Curator of The Netropolitan has not come across a lapel pin from the 1956 European Championships. If you have a pin for sale or trade from this event, contact The Netropolitan. We’re always looking for acquisitions to expand our collection.

Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: Paris to Cortina to Garmisch. 1956.

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