A year and a half after the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, I found myself in an all-things-Canada souvenir shop in Toronto, which felt more like an Olympics pop-up shop. It didn’t matter that the Winter Games had come and gone – Canada was still very proud of hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics and wanted to make sure you were, too, by still offering hooded sweatshirts, colorful scarves, and those popular maple leaf mittens, all embroidered with the 2010 logo.
Halfway through the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, I’m here in metro Detroit wishing I had access to some of the Union Jack souvenirs attendees can be seen wearing on TV. According to this story in the Guardian, there’s definitely no lack of enthusiasm, and variety, for souvenirs this time around. Whether you’re lucky enough to attend the Olympics in person or are on the hunt for a must-have gift for your family back at home, Olympics souvenirs reflect exciting times in sports history.
Here in The Henry Ford’s collections, this lapel ribbon from the 1960 Winter Games in Squaw Valley was a welcomed souvenir for one lucky attendee as the Olympics returned to the United States for the first time since before World War II. Featuring a jumping ice skater and patriotic ribbons, you can almost picture hundreds of these badges proudly pinned to the coats of spectators as they watched their favorite athletes compete.
Which souvenirs do you think will become the most sought after for the 2012 Summer Games? Rebecca Bizonet, an archivist here at the Benson Ford Research Center, keeps this eraser (below) from the 2004 Summer Games in Athens on her desk as a small, but meaningful, reminder of the Olympics. Do you think any souvenirs from the London games will be in a museum some day?