Trading Pins at the Winter Games

The unofficial sport of the Olympics

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea - There's more to the Olympic games than just winning a medal.

Each and every city is at its best when the games are in town, to ensure the fans enjoy their experience.

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At the Winter games there's curling, skating, snowboarding, luge, and bobsledding but there's a game within the's pin trading.

“They call it the unofficial sport of the Olympics,” says Pam Litz, pin trader.

Every two years the world turns to a sporting event. 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 sport.

“People just want to share, share a pin, trade a pin, share a story,” says Matheau Casner, pin trader, who started trading in Rio. For his second games, you'll find him 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 handshake, and say hello and it’s a connection instantly,” he says.

Pam Litz is a seasoned trader. Pyeongchang is her 15th Olympic games.

“I started in 1984 in Los Angeles,” she says.

For both Pam and Matheau, it's 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,” says Pam.

The pins may look like simple designs, but for traders each pin can uncover a smile and make a memory.

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