Pin Trading: The unofficial sport of the Olympics

[WATCH VIDEO: Tap or click here to watch the pin traders in action]

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Nexstar) – You 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 sport.

“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, 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 hand shake, and say hello and it’s a connection instantly,” he explains.

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

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. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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