Collectible Lapel Pins – US Figure Skating Championships 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s Lapel pins have been around for more than a hundred years—showing up in sports, politics, military, business, religion, education, and more—and some say the origins of pins can be traced to the first modern Olympic Games held in 1896 in Athens, Greece. So … Read more
In October 1981, a new annual figure skating competition—Skate America—was launched in North America and was contested in Lake Placid, New York. Skate America had officially arrived but had roots going back to the 1979 Flaming Leaves International, which served as the official test event for the new Olympic Field House arena built for the 1980 Olympic Winter Games, also held in Lake Placid. In the same arena that had hosted the hockey and figure skating events during the Olympic Games less than two years earlier, an international roster of figure skaters again assembled. Skate America would return to Lake Placid in 1982.
Although often referred to as the "first" Skate America, the Flaming Leaves International, held in Lake Placid, New York, in the fall of 1979 would best be referred to as the predecessor of Skate America. With that bit of history lesson, on to the pin that commemorated this important pre-Olympic competition—and a handsome figure skating pin it is. On a gold-color base metal, a fiery orange fills the central flames that burn brightly behind a figure skating pair, in forward crossovers.
With a long and storied history of hosting major winter sports events—from speed skating to skiing to hockey to bobsledding to figure skating—Lake Placid, New York, rolled out the red carpet in mid-February for the nation's premiere figure skating event, the 1965 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
In the nearly 40-year history of Skate America, the original event pictogram—pairs skaters in red and blue, gliding on an outside edge—has made regular, although not consecutive, appearances on the event pins. The pins for the 1981 and 1982 Skate America events incorporate the pictogram and are nearly identical in design.