Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by Netropolitan Museum
Tulsa figure skating event marked by snowflake-themed lapel pin
The 1970 US Figure Skating Championships, staged at the Tulsa Assembly Center, in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the only national figure skating championship ever to be hosted in the Sooner State. In a parallel of sorts to the host state, the pin from the 1970 US Figure Skating Championships was, for more than two decades, the only “Nationals” pin to feature a snowflake as the central design element. And for figure skating history enthusiasts, it was in Tulsa where one of the sport’s greatest and most iconic champions, Janet Lynn, claimed the second of her five consecutive national titles.
By the time the 1970 US Championships took place, five years had elapsed since a lapel pin had been issued to commemorate the annual event, the prior being the 1965 US Championships held in Lake Placid, New York. Not until 1973 would at least one pin be issued each year to mark the US Championships.1
Gallery: 1970 US Championships Pin
The small, simple pin in red, white, and blue not only was patriotic but helped mark an emerging era in the sport that would see innovations and changes come rapidly. The pin itself foreshadowed that trajectory, exhibiting a more modern design approach than seen in the more traditional design of prior years’ pins.
Approximately 1″ diameter (2.5 cm diameter)
$20 to $25, depending on condition
A snowflake on a blue background sits at the center of the circular pin, and around the circumference are the location, year, and event: “Tulsa 1970 National Figure Skating Championships.” Note that the event is referred to as “National Championships,” rather than the formal name “U.S. Figure Skating Championships.” Use of colloquial terms like “Nationals” or “U.S. Nationals” was common in the years before standards were put in place regarding naming and, of course, before sponsor names began to make their way into events. The soft, delicate finish of the silk-screened pin is easily susceptible to scratching, making it unlikely that many pins from this event exist today that do not exhibit some paint loss.
Like a handful of other pins issued for figure skating events, the Tulsa pin does not include a skating motif of any kind, such as a skate blade, skating boot, or an illustration of skaters. Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1970 US Figure Skating Championships Pin: Living On Tulsa Time.
This blog was originally published at The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins on June 13, 2020, and has been updated with new information.
1Possible exception being 2021, when the event was held in a closed environment.
The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins Story
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