To some, it’s a business. To others, a hobby.
I get the feeling it’s a little of both to Daniel Presburger.
Presburger stood outside the Main Press Center here Friday, a human billboard for Olympic trading pins. He is a Los Angeles resident here for his 10th Olympics, here to barter this way and that for the one item considered the most prized reminder of any Games.
"I collected coins in college but couldn’t afford to do that full time and go to school. So when the Olympics came to Los Angeles in 1984, I traded coins for pins," Presburger said.
The most valuable pins are those from competing nations, and fortunate is the collector who snags one from a smaller country. Like, for instance, Nauru. One Olympian, one pin.
There is one pin Presburger insists he wouldn’t trade or sell.
"It was in Barcelona and I got one from some Bosnian athletes," he said. "They were going home the next day to a war zone. That one means the most. … The hardest country to get is Madagascar. They just won’t give them up. At the Atlanta Olympics, they wanted $300 for just one pin."
Hey, you have to feed those animal extras on the set some way.