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Roaring Olympic pin trade -

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ELEANOR HALL: Forget the sporting events, there are a quite few people at the Olympic Games who say
the real Olympic action is in pin trading.

Every four years, American Jeffrey Allan Kolkmann does the rounds in the host city trading Olympic
pins and other games paraphernalia. He's already working the sidewalks in Beijing and, as Olympics
reporter Karen Barlow found, he's always on the lookout for a good trade.

JEFFREY KOLKMANN: It's not big business, it's more of a hobby. My wife tells me that it's a little
bit crazy to have a hobby like this but it's a lot of fun. You culturally interchange with people.
You give a souvenir and you get a souvenir. It's a lot of fun.

KAREN BARLOW: What is it about Olympic pins? It seems to be a great attraction, people want them,
they're mad for them.

JEFFREY KOLKMANN: Yes, it's like anything. Something might be hard to get, something might be easy
to get. Of course, the harder to get pins are the ones that everybody wants.

KAREN BARLOW: What are those?

JEFFREY KOLKMANN: Those are the media pins. Right now we're sitting out in front of the IBC, the
international broadcast centre and the main press centre as well, so all the journalists are coming
in and out of this entrance right here.

And this is the best place to be right now, especially in the first week of the Olympics. I think
it will start to slow down once the Games get going because everybody has other things to do. Once
the Games start, the sports are the most important event. Right now this is the most important
event going on in Beijing.

KAREN BARLOW: Getting a pin?

JEFFREY KOLKMANN: Yeah, trading the pins. The hardest work for the pin traders is right now.

KAREN BARLOW: What could a really sought-after pin go for? What dollars are we talking about?

JEFFREY KOLKMANN: Oh it depends. I mean, your beautiful shirt that you're wearing right now, I
could probably trade that straight across for the German pin with the dragon on it.

KAREN BARLOW: My ABC Radio shirt?

JEFFREY KOLKMANN: Yeah, that's a beautiful shirt.

KAREN BARLOW: So, it's all about trading, it's not for dollars.

JEFFREY KOLKMANN: Yes, no. We're trading, some of these things are valuable. Some people put them
on ebay, other people trade them straight across. Somebody traded a backpack, one of your big,
Beijing backpacks the other day just for a pin.

In different Games, winter Olympics it's often been the taxi drivers. They'll try to get pins and
they'll drive you across town just for a pin rather than payment.

KAREN BARLOW: What about Games from long ago, early last century? What sort of pins could be got
from that?

JEFFREY KOLKMANN: They originally came out with pins going back to the very first Olympics in 1896.
They had some form of pin or something from representing your team, your country, that different
people would exchange.

So we have, at the International Olympic Committee museum in Lausanne Switzerland, they have a lot
of things on display there and they've been collecting ever since.

KAREN BARLOW: You've got a lot of pins. Do you actually wear them?

JEFFREY KOLKMANN: Oh yes, as you can see I'm wearing my USA team pin right there. I'm wearing
Chairman Mao and one of his quotations, I don't know actually what it says. I'm wearing a friend's
pin, just to spread a little cheer and spread a little joy.

KAREN BARLOW: And make other people jealous.

JEFFREY KOLKMANN: Not to make people jealous. If you're out here to make people jealous, you know,
that's not so much fun. It's more sharing really, more than anything.

If somebody gets really interesting pins though, they usually don't put them out on the board or
wear them. They learn very quickly to put them away at home, save them in a safe spot. Otherwise
people are going to be clambering you for them.

ELEANOR HALL: Olympics pin trader Jeffrey Kolkmann speaking to Karen Barlow in Beijing.