World
Olympic exotica: Pin collectors add colour and informal social exchange at Games
"I can give you Barcelona, if you give me Rio." That's a snatch of conversation you are likely to hear in various forms on the sidelines of the Olympic Games, where dozens of lapel pin collectors have congregated from all over the world.
 
Often spreading their wares just outside the stadia or the main press centre, the pin travellers largely do it as a hobby rather than as a commercial venture.
 
Many participating countries give away these pins as presents, as do some big companies and sponsors. Pins are also made in various shapes, sizes and colours by the Games organisers, to be given away. The earliest Games had modest giveaways made of cardboard. Today they are largely metallic or plastic.
 
Pins encompass the culture of the most challenging games in the world and become storehouses of memories for those who were there.
 
For the organised collectors, though, it's an exotic hobby, where they spend money to be at the Games, mostly hanging around outside. Every regular attendee knows that they are a constant feature. Most of these organised collectors have a regular job back home from where they take leave to pursue this unusual fixation. 
 
Take Timothy Jamieson of Virginia, US, for instance. He is an architect by profession and during regular times -- except for a few weeks during Olympic season -- he helps build hotels. 
 
He has attended 14 Olympic Games, both summer and winter, and will keep on doing this as long as he can. "I start preparing for the Games around three months ahead of the opening, and I usually carry between 2,500 to 3,000 pins with me," he says.
 
Jamieson's total collection is about 30,000. Most of his pins are taken in on exchange, but he does sell some of them. "It often pays for my air ticket and sometimes even the stay," he says, though making money is not the priority. 
 
The price at which he sells a pin is usually between $10 and $20. The highest one he ever sold was for $100.
 
For Jamieson the most exciting time was at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan in 1998. Because of enhanced interest of the Japanese, all the local pin sellers ran out of the product. He had obtained some 300 Nagano Olympic pins which he sold at a very good profit. "The Japanese are crazy for pins," he says.
 
Fredric Gariga came from Barcelona to see how many pins he could exchange. Selling is not on top of his mind. "I would probably exchange 2,000 to 3,000 pins by the end of Rio 2016 and possibly sell around 200," he says, adding that for him it's "completely a hobby".
 
Gariga works in Barcelona with the local government regulator of shops and finds time for a few weeks during Olympics. He has attended eleven summer and four winter Olympics. "It gives me great pleasure and I get to also see some of the events."
 
Although the pin collectors get official accreditation to be near the stadia or the press centre, they do have to buy tickets to attend an event. But he doesn't mind that. "I enjoy watching swimming, tennis and diving."
 
Obviously, if the organised pin collectors set up their makeshift, informal shops, there must be consumers. There are hundreds who look for exotic pins. These are often the regulars, including players, visitors and even media persons.
 
Hobbies do take many shapes and forms. So widespread has become the interest that some countries have pin societies and pin clubs.
 
Douglas Todd is a medical doctor working in emergency shifts at a hospital in San Diego, US. For him, too, making money through selling the pins is not a priority. 
 
His interest started when the Olympic Games were held in Los Angeles in 1984. Rio is his 17th Games, including the winter ones.
 
"I have a collection of thousands, but I never counted," says Todd.
 
Todd found the Beijing games in 2008 the most exciting with thousands seeking out the pins. "Rio could be another Beijing," he says. Many of them pin their hopes on that.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

93 die as explosion rips through Quetta hospital
A deafening blast ripped through scores of mourners in a Quetta hospital on Monday killing 93 people, mainly lawyers, in this year's bloodiest terror attack in Pakistan, officials said.
 
Balochistan Health Minister Rehmat Baloch blamed a suicide bomber for the carnage that took place when a large number of lawyers had gathered at the Civil Hospital with the body of a lawyer shot dead hours earlier.
 
The hospital superintendent confirmed the toll, ARY News channel reported.
Two legs of a body found at the site were likely to be that of the suicide bomber, it said.
 
Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri blamed the Indian intelligence agency RAW, saying it was responsible for incidents of terror in Quetta.
 
His comments about the RAW came even before the police could say who was responsible for the horrific attack.
 
The massive explosion occurred when nearly 100 lawyers and some journalists reached the Civil Hospital with the body of Bilal Anwar Kasi, president of the Balochistan Bar Association who was killed earlier.
 
Police officer Zahoor Ahmed Afridi said most of the dead were lawyers. Several lawyers, including Baz Mohammad Kakar, the former president of the Balochistan Bar Association, were injured, Dawn reported. 
 
Gunfire was heard shortly after the explosion. Shahzad Khan, a cameraman with Aaj TV, was also killed in the explosion while the cameraman for Dawn News was severely injured, Dawn said.
 
A stampede broke out after the bombing, causing chaos at the hospital, witnesses said. Smoke filled the corridors of the emergency ward. Video footage showed lawyers rushing with stretchers to help the wounded.
 
Samaa TV said bodies were strewn on the floor, some still smoking, "amid pools of blood and shattered glass".
 
Shocked and dozed survivors wept and comforted one another, journalists at the site said. Many of the dead wore black suits and ties.
 
Officials said as jammers were activated immediately after the blast, it became difficult to contact officials at the site. 
 
Police surrounded the hospital and an emergency was declared in all Quetta hospitals. Senior military officers also rushed to the hospital.
 
"This was a security lapse and I am having this personally investigated," Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said.
 
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who left Islamabad for Quetta, condemned the killings and expressed his "deep grief and anguish over the loss of precious human lives".
 
"No one will be allowed to disturb the peace in the province that has been restored thanks to the countless sacrifices by the security forces, police and the people of Balochistan," he said in a statement.
 
Former Chief Minister Abdul Malik called it the "blackest day" in the history of Balochistan. 
 
It was the worst terrorist attack in Pakistan this year since the March 27 bombing at Gulshan-e-Iqbal park in Lahore that left 75 people dead.
 
Lawyers have been targeted several times in recent months in Balochistan.
 
One lawyer, Jahanzeb Alvi, was shot dead on August 3. Bilal Kasi, who himself was shot dead on Monday, had condemned Alvi's murder and announced a two-day boycott of courts.
 
The principal of University of Balochistan's law college, Barrister Amanullah Achakzai, was also shot dead by unknown assailants in June.
 
Balochistan has experienced violence and targeted killings for more than a decade. 
 
Pakistan's largest province by area, Balochistan is home to a low-level insurgency by Baloch separatists. Al Qaeda-linked and sectarian militants also operate in the region.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

Taxation rate to be worked out by GST Council: Jaitley
Without delving into specifics on the taxation rate under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley here on Monday said it will be worked out by the GST Council.
 
GST rate was earlier suggested at 18 per cent by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian.
 
“The GST Council will work on the functional modalities. The rate of taxation will also be determined there,” Jaitley said initiating the discussion on the 122nd constitution amendment bill in the Lok Sabha.
 
The constitution amendment bill is an enabling measure which will pave the way for the GST regime.
 
After its passage in the Lower House, which is a given as the government enjoys a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, three laws will need to be prepared for GST.
 
“We will have to prepare three more laws. After ratification by states, the draft will have to be prepared by GST Council. The two laws on inter-state GST and central GST will have to come before the Parliament. The state GST will be passed by various state assemblies,” Jaitley said.
 
Since GST will be the responsibility of the Centre and states both, the government wanted to have a larger consensus on it, he said.
 
“There has been a wide consensus. A large number of political parties have come forward in its support,” Jaitley said.
 
The Rajya Sabha had last week unanimously passed the Constitution amendment bill to pave the way for the introduction of a pan-India Goods and Services Tax regime.
 
The upper house passed what is called the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Second Amendment) Bill, 2014, with 203 ayes in the final voting. The AIADMK staged a walk-out before the bill was passed in the upper house. 
 
The government had moved amendments to the bill earlier passed by the Lok Sabha to accommodate some concerns of opposition parties.
 
The government has removed the one per cent additional levy and agreed to compensate for any loss of revenue to the states for next five years.
 
"There was a delay, but most of the political parties came on one platform. After a long time, after efforts which continued for a number of years, finally a consensus was formed," he said. Initially, the GST was supposed to be applicable from April 1, 2010. 
 
The Finance Minister said that after the GST comes into place the tax base is likely to increase as it will improve ease of doing business and mitigate tax evasion and tax cascading effect. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)