Pin exchange, a new 'athletic event' at Asian Youth Games

Updated: 2013-08-21 11:21


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NANJING, China - Swapping Olympic pins is the "in" thing to do at every Olympic event and the Asian Youth Games here in Nanjing is no different.

"Can we swap pins?" has replaced conventional greetings and is universally agreed to with a smile between athletes and volunteers alike.

"It's a tough job being a volunteer at the Asian Youth Games," said a volunteer surnamed Li, who works in the Athletes Village.

"You have to get up close and personal with some of Asia's most physically fit young men and women from the 45 countries and regions as for the past several days 'pin swapping' has been the currency of choice," she added.

Sport delegations, media organizations, sponsors and cultural groups all have their logos on these pins and swapping them is an 'athletic event' in and of itself.

The badges range from those exclusively issued to athletes or produced by sponsors, through to mass-produced official pins which can be bought. And there are the unofficial pins as well.

During the Asian Youth Games, which concludes on Sunday, these vibrantly colored metal pins continue the worldwide Olympic culture among the young generation.