GRANDVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio (WCMH) — As Olympic athletes compete for a gold medal on the world’s largest stage, a central Ohio pin collector said there is another sport of sorts that happens behind the scenes: pin-trading and pin-collecting.
David Apathy lives in Grandview Heights and he owns quite an extensive collection of Olympic pins and other artifacts he has collected during his travels to the games.
“There are thousands of pins, different sizes specializing in countries or sports,” Apathy said.
Apathy became fascinated with the Olympics during high school while watching the 1968 summer games in Mexico City. Today, he has traveled to 16 Olympic games in total: 10 summer Olympics and 6 winter Olympics.
He found a passion for Olympic pin-collecting while attending his first summer games in Montreal in 1976.
“I did, I saw it going on there and I said, ‘That looks interesting,’ and I found somebody, a Russian guy who had a complete set, and he was willing to trade them for cash, I think,” Apathy said.
Since then, his collection has grown to nearly 4,000 pins spanning across the 16 games he has attended as a spectator.
“I’m Hungarian, so Hungry pins are a favorite of mine,” Apathy said.
Apathy turned his passion for the Olympics into a profession when he became part of the Olympic Organizing Committee for the summer games in Los Angeles in 1984. He also owns an Olympic torch from that year.
“I had experience supposedly since I’d been to other Olympics, and I spoke multi-languages,” Apathy said.
He is fluent in Hungarian, French, Spanish, and English, a skill he has used in the world of pin-trading.
“Made a lot of friends that way and it became a sport in itself,” Apathy said.
His sport of pin-collecting stems from his love of seeing the athletes compete at the games.
“I saw Nadia Comaneci get two of her perfect 10s, I saw Bruce Jenner on the final day when he got his gold medal,” Apathy said.
His collection of Olympic artifacts includes clothing, opening ceremony programs, currency, and participation medals given to all athletes and officials. As of the Tokyo games, his “Olympin Club” has more than 500 members worldwide spanning across 38 countries.
“We have a newsletter, we have web pages and always looking for new members during the Olympics,” Apathy said.
To learn more about the club, click here.