I have hinted at it.
I have mentioned it.
But I have not really delved into the subplot bubbling under my Sochi Olympics experience.
That would be pin trading.
Perhaps you have never heard of it. I know I had never heard of it until I arrived at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. Within a few days, a collection of uniquely dressed gentleman had set up long, pin-filled tables outside the International Broadcast Center.
But pin trading is a phenomenon. Athletes, sponsors, and media members arrive at the Olympics with pins representing whoever their country, company, or publication. When two people of differing Olympic backgrounds have a pleasant conversation, they conclude it by exchanging pins.
At least, that is the theory.
But typically, it works a little differently. Some people simply do not care about the practice. Some maybe care too much, eyeing others’ pin chains with hawk-like tendencies. And some simply do it for the sport; they like to inject a little “Let’s make a deal” undercurrent to the Olympic grind.
I probably combine all three mentalities.
But mostly, I simply want a good story.