My Favourite Pin Story - Daniel Hall
Sunday, 29 July 2012
How long have you been collecting? since 1997
How many pins do you own? 1000
In 2000 I attended a Sydney Olympic and Paralympic pin swap meet down at The Rocks with my young son. A few limited releases were released on the day and I lined up early in a long queue to get my pins. I bought a couple of each release. It was a very festive occasion with a radio station, mascots and some Australian Olympic athletes in attendance. See picture (left) of my son and I standing next to Lizzie the Paralympic mascot. My son was actually quite scared of Lizzie! He was rather large!
While I was mingling and talking to fellow pin collectors I noticed a few Australian Paralympic athletes, one in a wheelchair, waiting in the queue in the hot sun. I went up and said "hi" and asked if they were waiting to get some of the Paralympic limited editions to which they replied "yes". I reached into my pocket and pinned some of the extra Paralympic pins I bought, onto their shirts and said "no need to wait in the queue in this hot sun." You should have seen their faces! They were ecstatic.
The young girl in the wheelchair leaned forward and said, "thank you" to which I replied, "my pleasure" - "no," she said and I looked at her with a puzzled look. She then said, "no, thank you for treating us like normal people because as far as we are concerned we are normal, that is all we have known. Usually people are standoff-ish or ask us how we are first and you didn't." I had a tear in my eye. She then said, "the pins were a bonus."
It was the best feeling I had ever had, it certainly made my day and was one of the most memorable things I remember from the Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games.