Last Updated on January 3, 2023 by Netropolitan Museum
Profile: Lapel Pins from the 1987 World Figure Skating Championships, Cincinnati, Ohio
Riverfront Coliseum, on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, was the venue for the 1987 World Figure Skating Championships in the pre-Olympic year. Cincinnati proved to be an extremely popular host city, with capacity crowds, even for practices, at a well-staged and well-executed event. Now, some 35 years later, it’s somewhat surprising that figure skating’s premier competition has not returned to the quaint Midwestern city. In the run-up to the event, a multi-color, globe-themed logo pin was produced that subsequently was slightly changed twice before the final versions were struck (the color assignments in the globe being different on each). There are, therefore, at least three different main logo pins from the 1987 World Figure Skating Championships. Two of these versions are shown in the gallery.
Unlike most pins that came before it, the 1987 World Championships logo pin is unusual in shape: an oval. On a gold-color base metal, the pin features a cutaway-style globe at the center with colors assigned in a grid to create a striking pattern that possibly is meant to be an abstract representation of world flags. The effect is quite nice. Just above the globe is the International Skating Union (ISU) logo, one of the earliest known instances of a World Championships pin to feature the ISU mark, although other pins have included the letters “ISU.” Below the globe is an illustration of a skate blade. The white background of the pin is clean and fresh, and a thin border runs around the circumference, with the year, event name, and location inside: “1987 World Figure Skating Championships, Cincinnati, United States of America.”
Each of the versions shown in the gallery measures approximately 1‑1/2″ x 1‑1/4″ (3.8 cm x 3.2 cm). Notice the subtle color assignment changes in the globe between the first pin shown (the pre-event issue) and the pin sold at the event.
Unlike most pins that came before it, the 1987 World Figure Skating Championships logo pin is unusual in shape: an oval.
The 1987 World Championships were also commemorated with a mascot pin, believed to be the first world event to feature such a pin. Called Blades, the white tiger mascot dons skates and a colorful neck scarf comprised of international flags while gracefully leaping above the event year and name: “87 Worlds.” The white tiger, of course, was a tie-in to the Cincinnati Zoo, which had the large cats in its menagerie at the time. The mascot pin proved to be a popular one, selling out during the event. It measures approximately 1‑1/8″ x 1‑3/4″ (2.9 cm x 4.4 cm).
The Curator of The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins has also seen another logo-style pin, in enamel, that carries a simplified globe motif with superimposed pair skaters in a stag jump, a branding configuration used on most print and promotional items from the 1987 World Championships. It is unclear when this pin was available but is likely an additional pre-event production of limited quantity.
Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1987 World Figure Skating Championships Pins: Cincinnati Welcomes the World. And be sure to read the museum story for more information about figure skating pins.
Pins Gallery: 1987 World Figure Skating Championships
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