Your Stories

Swapping for a Swastika Pin at the Montreal Olympics

STORY BY: Lesley Baker
YEAR: 1976
LOCATION: Montreal, QC

Lesley had not reflected much about the 70s-80s-90s, partly because she grew up as a baby boomer in the 50s and 60s. Two things did spring to mind while watching BOOM X. Lesley tells a story about the Montreal Olympics, and how she remembers trading pins with a man from East Germany. The pin she received was in the shape of a triangle, and it had a Nazi Swastika symbol on it. She showed it to her dad back in Winnipeg, who was horrified. Then, in 1988 at the Calgary Olympics, she once again exchanged pins with someone, and received an East German flag. She then showed it to her dismayed dad, who cried out: "Communism again?" To Lesley, it was simply acknowledging part of our history, with a hope that exchanging ideas can make us more human. She's now quite fascinated that history does repeat itself, and "we should be able to respect people in all venues in life". Thanks for sharing, Lesley.

Back to Stories