1982 European Figure Skating Championships Pins: The Lion of Lyon.

Profile: Lapel Pins from the 1982 European Championships, Lyon, France

After an 11-year hiatus, a major figure skating event again came to Lyon, France, when the 1982 European Figure Skating Championships were contested there. It is the same city where the 1971 World Figure Skating Championships had enthralled the locals, and where capacity crowds would again be enthralled inside the cozy Patinoire Charlemagne arena. In classic French style, the pins from the 1982 European Figure Skating Championships are beautiful in design and highly sophisticated.

Few figure skating pins come to mind that feature a rampant lion posed majestically atop a skate blade. Without exhaustive research, it is fair to say that the 1982 European Championships pins may be the only ones from a major figure skating event with this depiction. The lion of Lyon—its claws bared and reared up on hind legs, ready to defend or do battle—is a portion of the city’s coat of arms. The pairing of the iconic elements gave the event a strong logo, not to mention one with significant local meaning.

Few figure skating pins come to mind that feature a rampant lion posed majestically atop a skate blade… [and] it is fair to say that the 1982 European Championships pins may be the only ones.

In the gallery below are six pins from the 1982 European Championships, beginning with the main logo pin, a diminutive one that measures approximately 11/16″ (1.75 cm). The great lion in red is the focal point, done in relief at the center and on a burnished background that contrasts well with the shiny finish. Made of a silver-color base metal with a beveled edge in gold and red and blue enamel fills, the pin is aesthetically pleasing. The elements on the pin are framed by inner circles of red and blue, and along the circumference of the pin are the event name, location, and year: “Championnats d’Europe de Patinage Artistique, Lyon, 1982.” Looking at the pin, one can almost hear “La Marseillaise” playing and the French flag waving majestically.

Next in the gallery are five special-issue pins made for and given only to selected individuals:

  • “I.S.U.” (“ISU” delegate)
  • “Competition” (“Contest” or “Event”; likely an organizing committee member)
  • “Juges” (“Judge”)
  • “Entraineurs” (“Coach”)
  • “Press et Tele” (“Press and Television”)

It is likely that similar pins were issued for others connected with the event, perhaps officials, referees, guests, and so on. Each pin is large and impressive in size with a badge suspended on a shiny, smooth chain from the main body of the pin. Overall, the pins measure approximately 1‑1/4″ x 2‑11/16″ (3.2 cm x 6.8 cm). The upper, main portion of the pin incorporates the same design as seen on the logo pin but is in relief on a burnished silver-color base metal and with the same beveled edge treatment in gold. The suspended badge is color-coded by role, with the ISU pin, in orange, certainly being the most visually appealing of those featured. These pins, all likely made in limited number, are a reflection of the importance of the event they commemorate. Of note is that the Judge pin is from the estate of the late Ludwig Gassner, a former competitor and international judge for Austria who officiated at the 1982 Europeans.

In the opinion of The Curator of The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins, 1982 was among the last years that a high-quality and thoughtfully designed pin was issued for a European Figure Skating Championship.

Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1982 European Figure Skating Championships Pins: The Lion of Lyon.

Pins Gallery: 1982 European Figure Skating Championships

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  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.
  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.
  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.
  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.

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