Figure Skating Pins Profile: 1990 European Championships.
Twenty years had passed since the last European Figure Skating Championships had been staged in Leningrad, USSR.1 So it was, perhaps, a momentous occasion when the 1990 Europeans came to that city in late January. Their 1970 predecessor event was now a distant memory, and new memories were ready to be made. Those in Leningrad on the cold and gray days of the European Championships may not have had any idea that just about a year and half later, the Soviet Union would be dissolved.
Similarly to the 1970 Europeans event, the 1990 Europeans were marked with a number of pins—far fewer, thankfully—and most of them special issues made for those connected with the event. The unique logo for the event combines the year “1990” with a pictogram-style illustration of pairs figure skaters. It is one of the more memorable treatments for a championship event logo, and the year happened to lend itself to the design.
The main logo pin, shown first in the gallery, is made of the same lightweight alloy typically seen in Russian pins and carries the “1990” logo at the center, with the shortened event name and city at the top and bottom, respectively: “European Championships” and “Leningrad.” On a silver-color base, the logo is blue and red, with the second “9” in “1990” being red while all other lettering is in blue. The pin measures approximately 15/16″ square (2.4 cm).
The 1990 European Figure Skating Championships were marked with a number of pins—most of them special issues made for those connected with the event.
Next in the gallery are two alternate, larger versions of the logo pin, presumably made for individuals with a connected role at the championships, or perhaps just fancier styles of the logo pin. The first version is on a gold-color base, with the second “9” in “1990” appearing in red and the remaining lettering in gold. A white background contrasts well. The second version is on the same gold-color base but with no additional colors applied. Both pins are sleek and modern, more so than the main logo pin, and measure approximately 1‑1/4″ square (3.2 cm).
Six special-issue pins are next in the gallery. These were likely produced in limited quantity and given only to those with the named role. Each carries the same “1990” logo design as the main pin but each is assigned a different color. On a silver-color base, the pins measure approximately 1‑1/4″ square (3.2 cm). Note that the designations are in Russian rather than English, as seen on the logo pin, and that no other information about the event, such as location or event name, appears on the pins.
- “Yчастник” (Participant)
- “Cудья” (Referee)
- “Tренер” (Coach)
- “Rостевой” (Guest)
- “Oргкомитет” (Organizing Committee)
- “Nресса” (Press)
Finally, in the category “Which One Doesn’t Belong?” is the last pin in the gallery. Although clearly issued for the 1990 European Championships, the overall design and main illustration of the skater have no resemblance, branding-wise, to the other pins. This is not as perplexing as it may seem, since events held in the former Soviet Union were often commemorated with all sorts of unrelated and random pins (see the 1970 Europeans blog for more on that story). This pin is large, measuring approximately 2‑1/4″ in diameter (5.7 cm) and is on a silver-color base alloy with blue and white color fills. At the center of the pin, in dark blue, is a female figure skater in a classic pose with a blade tracing in the area beneath. Along the circumference of the pin in Russian are the location, year, and event name: “Leningrad, 1990, European Figure Skating Championships.” Centered at the apex of the pin is a multi-masted ship, an emblem often associated with the city of Leningrad.
Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: Leningrad Twenty Years Later. 1990.
1 Today, Leningrad is known once again by its original name, St. Petersburg.
Figure Skating Pins Gallery: 1990 European Championships
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