Our pins deserve gold

When the five Cayman Islands athletes compete at the London Olympics from next week, they will undoubtedly be extremely popular. And not just because they are charismatic and sociable, but because their pins are always high in demand for collectors.  

Lori Powell is the chef de mission for Cydonie Mothersill, Ronald Forbes, Kemar Hyman and the Fraser brothers Brett and Shaune. Among the many things Powell will have to deal with, distributing pins and making sure the supply does not run out too quickly will be one of them.  

“Cayman pins are normally the most popular pins at the Games,” Powell said. “That’s because our team is always so small – we only have five athletes as opposed to countries with hundreds, plus the Cayman Islands being Caribbean and quite unique, everybody is always looking for our pins. 

“Besides that, we’ve always had beautiful pins. These ones are designed by Jaime Doak and they are a turtle and each back is a different colour to represent the five colours of the Olympic rings.  

“Not only are they very sought after for the actual pin, people are also going to try to collect all the colours which is very difficult. For some, it will be difficult just to get the one pin.  

“The collectors go crazy over our pins. In Beijing, at the last Olympics, everybody wanted them, the Cayman parrot and iguana, coat of arms… You can do a lot of bartering of those pins. Some are very valuable. There was one pin, a turtle, done some years ago, that won the top pin at the Games award. So you could say we have the gold medal in pins!”  

Lori Powell Olympic Pins

Lori Powell with Olympic pins from previous years. – PHOTOS: RON SHILLINGFORD