PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Nexstar) — People know about curling, bobsledding, skating, snowboarding and luge, but there’s one popular Olympic event that isn’t televised.
“They call it the unofficial sport of the Olympics,” explains Pam Litz.
Every two years, the world turns to a sporting event, of course for folks watching at home, the excitement is irresistible. But for those who come to the games, they are quickly immersed in a new world outside of sports.
“People just want to share, share a pin, trade a pin, share a story,” said Matheau Casner who started trading pins in Rio de Janeiro. For his second games in PyeongChang, he can be found at the Coca-Cola Pin Trading Shop.
“I don’t speak Korean, I don’t speak Portuguese but people come in here and I can share a pin with them and a hand shake, and say hello and it’s a connection instantly,” he explains.
Litz said he started trading pins during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
For both Litz and Casner, pin trading represents an Olympic culture that’s about new relationships.
“You know, it gives you a chance to interact with so many people that you would never meet otherwise,” Litz said.
The pins may look like simple designs, but for traders each pin can uncover a smile and make a memory.