Olympic pin used by Laurie Lewis (Havel) as a member of Team USA volleyball at the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympic Games. This pin represents the Olympic Training Facility in Lake Tahoe. Lewis, a high school volleyball player made the national team in 1967 which won a gold medal at the Pan American Games that same year. After competing in the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City, she joined the UCLA Bruins volleyball team in 1969 and led the Bruins to their first women's championship in 1972.
Olympic pin collecting began as early as 1900 and gained momentum at the 1936 Games. Through the 1960s pin trading was on the upswing but really took off at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games with sponsor's becoming more prevalent. Coca-Cola set up a pin trading area at the Calgary Games which gave a boost to the hobby which is still a big part of the Olympic experience.
The 1968 Summer Olympic Games, also known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad were held in Mexico City, Mexico with 110 countries and 4,735 men and 781 women athletes participating. These were also the first to be held in Latin America and the first in a Spanish speaking country. The 1968 US Olympic track and field team was one of the most successful track teams’ winning twenty-four medals, including twelve gold. The high altitude of Mexico City was attributed to many of the records broken in the short distance races although those in the endurance races suffered from the lack of oxygen. These games also introduced the world to the Fosbury flop as Dick Fosbury won the gold with a new backward approach to the high jump, 16-year-old Debbie Meyer became the first US woman to win three individual golds in swimming and newcomer, George Foreman won gold in boxing. These Games were the first to subject athletes to drug testing which led to the first disqualification of an athlete after drinking a beer before his pentathlon competition. The politically charged atmosphere around the globe that year also contributed to controversy on the medal podium when two African-American athletes held black gloved hands high and bowed their heads during the National Anthem in response to the civil rights protests prevalent in the United States. The US won the medal count with 107.
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