Profile: Lapel Pins and Participant Medal from the 1962 World Figure Skating Championships, Prague, Czechoslovakia
Following the February 1961 crash of Sabena Airlines Flight #548, which killed the entire U.S. figure skating world team—plus coaches, parents, family members, and dozens of others—and the subsequent cancellation of the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships scheduled for Prague, Czechoslovakia, the International Skating Union (ISU) awarded Prague the event for the following year. The pins for the 1962 World Figure Skating Championships would, in a sense, honor the 1961 event with just a slight modification taking place. Let’s take a look.
First up in the gallery is the main event pin. The same colorful logo developed for the 1961 World Championships—a series of interconnected skate blades and tracings—also appears on the 1962 pin with only the color assignments being different. All other aspects of the pin design are the same as the 1961 version.
The same colorful logo developed for the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships—a series of interconnected skate blades and tracings—also appears on the 1962 pin ...
The gold-color metal and enamel pin features opposing angled and rounded corners that create both variation and interest. The shape certainly is unusual. Along the top of the pin, in Czech, is the event name: “Mistrovství Světa v Krasobruslení” (“World Figure Skating Championships”). At the bottom are the location and date: “Praha 14. – 17. Březen 1962” (“Prague, 14-17 February 1962″). Note that the colors used in the skate blade design are the same as those seen in the Olympic rings to represent the universality of sport: blue, yellow, black, green, and red. It perhaps can be theorized, therefore, that the same five colors were chosen for the Prague pin to represent the universality of figure skating. The logo pin measures approximately 1‑3/16″ x 3/4” (3 cm x 1.9 cm).
Next in the gallery are four special-issue pins, all likely produced in limited number and given only to individuals with a named role in the event:
- “ISU” (ISU Delegate)
- “Official” (“Činovnik”)
- “Referee” (“Rozhodčí”)
- “Press” (“Tisk”)
The special designations are distinguished by both color of ribbon and the bar suspended from it. Each pin measures approximately 1‑3/16″ x 1‑5/8″ (3 cm x 4.1 cm). The treatment with a ribbon and suspended bar is sometimes seen on other sports pins from events held in Czechoslovakia. In fact, The Curator of The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins has seen these identical bars used on pins from World and European swimming and gymnastic championships.
Last on display in the gallery is a participation medal, a large and heavy piece that would have been given to competitors and selected officials and likely produced in a highly limited number. On a silver-color base metal, the medal carries the main logo design at the center in the same configuration as seen on the pin but with slightly different wording. In a stacked formation and just below the logo on the first line: “ČSSR, Praha, 1962” (where “ČSSR” is the abbreviation for “Czechoslovak Socialist Republic”). On the second line is the event name: “Mistrovství Světa v Krasobruslení.” Note that the medal does not carry the event month and day but only the year. The handsome, textural medal measures approximately 3‑1/4″ x 2‑3/8″ (8.3 cm x 6 cm) and is a fine souvenir of a well-contested World Championships.
Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1962 World Figure Skating Championships Pins: Prague Redux.
Pins Gallery: 1962 World Figure Skating Championships
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