Beijing Olympics: in the bubble, pin fever



Tao, 21, with round glasses on his nose, dedicated his day off to it. If she made the trip between the mountains of Zhangjiakou and the capital, Beijing, that day, it was for this sole purpose: “exchange pins with athletes and reporters”, she announces with a big smile.

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The Chinese student works for OBS, the television broadcasting service for the Games, as an assistant cameraman. From the first days, it perpetuated an old tradition of the Olympic Games: the exchange of pins, these metal badges with pins, which one exhibits here proudly on the lanyard of its accreditation.

Moments of sharing

In the Olympic bubbles, this badge, fashionable in the 1980s and 1990s, has stood the test of time. According to the IOC, the presence of this type of object even dates back to the first Games of the modern era, in Athens in 1896, where the delegations wore cardboard badges.

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“It’s the culture of the Olympicsapproves Tao, accompanied by three colleagues on the return bus, heading for the Beijing train station. It’s our first time at the Games, so it’s a way to experience them fully. »

International Collections

The delegations carry in their luggage collections of pins with their effigy. Sponsors also create them. And the organizing committee puts some into circulation. Then a giant market can begin.

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Tao proudly presents the pins she wears: a bear from the Russian Olympic team, a chick skating on the ice, a panda in front of Mount Fuji, and the unmistakable “Bing Dwen Dwen”, panda mascot of the Games. For the French team, the new logo appears, on a blue background, a fusion between the Olympic flame and a rooster.

A few minutes later, she pulls a precious metal box from her pocket. “I have 20 in total. There’s this one, from the BBC, and even one from the France team! Badges that are the occasion for rare moments of sharing, in the Olympics that limit most interactions.

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