Pin Trading London 2012

My close friends already know how crazy I am about mug, I collect them, all kinds of mugs. And there is another thing I enjoy (not as much as mugs off course) and there is pins.

And it was only recently that I found out how big PIN trading is during the Olympic Games.

Beyond the actual athletic competitions, perhaps no other activity draws as much fan interest at the Olympic Games than the fascinating pastime of Olympic pin trading. Both a leisurely diversion and an adventurous pursuit, pin trading has become an enjoyable way to meet others from around the world and take home a reminder of the Olympic Games.


Pin trading also has taken on near-monolithic proportions at the Olympic Games. From the moment they arrive, countless neophyte fans and seasoned collectors get caught up in the frenzy of buying and exchanging Olympic lapel pins. One of the first things noticed by travelers to the Games is virtually everyone in the host city is sporting pins on their shirts, jackets, caps, scarves or vests. Some people even wear special sashes or carry pocketed towels or soft, customized cases adorned with pins, which they can lay out at a moment’s notice for the inquisitive tourist.


The sight of athletes, officials, media, residents and even local shopkeepers and delivery crews all wearing and trading various pins in the host city has become so prevalent that the hobby has unofficially become “the No. 1 spectator sport of the Olympic Games.” And, since 1988, the hotbeds for this hottest of fan amusements have been the Coca-Cola Official Olympic Pin Trading Centers, characteristically situated in the heart of the most-popular gathering spots in the host cities of the Games.

And we from “More Than Gold” will also be there with our pins.


Hosts wanted for 2012 Games

With hotel prices likely to reach astronomical levels next summer, a search has begun for volunteers  who will provide free accommodation for the family members of 2012 Games competitors.

It’s an initiative of More Than Gold, the agency set up to help Churches engage with the Games. Without help of this kind, it is feared many family members will be unable to see their loved ones in action.

All prospective hosts for the Athlete Family Homestay Programme will be interviewed and accommodation inspected. When approved, volunteers will provide bed and breakfast for at least eight days for up to two guests. They will also be asked to provide a warm welcome, and give the practical help and advice needed, for guests to make the most of their stay. As well as family members, those giving essential support to competitors, including their coach and close friends, are included in the scheme.

The majority of hosts are required in London, as close as possible to event venues.  However, hosts will also be needed near Benfleet, Birmingham, Broxbourne, Cardiff, Dorney Lake, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, Weymouth and Portland Harbour.

The Revd Ashley Evans, United Reformed Church minister at Christ Church, Newham, East London, close to the main Games stadium, is the URC liaison member for the Homestay programme.  He said: “This is a really valuable service Christian people can perform. For some competitors, it will decide whether their family can be present on one of the greatest days of their life. It will also be a wonderful opportunity for hosts to get to know people from a very different culture.  It is a real opportunity to show Christ to the world.”

Prospective volunteer hosts can find more details at

Photo caption: Stephanie Cook MBE, Olympic athlete and board member of More Than Gold, at the launch of the Athlete Family Homestay Programme with some of the first volunteer hosts.

Calling all Mission and Service teams

More than 3,000 mission and service team members are needed to work with local churches throughout the UK during the Games. This number will include many from overseas.

Mission and service teams are made up of between 5 and 20 members who register through their team leader.

In past Games, volunteers for Mission and Service Teams have been coordinated through existing mission agencies like Youth With a Mission, the Global Events Group, the Salvation Army, Ambassadors in Sport and others.

For the registration form click here. And for the essential instructions on filling in the form click here.

What will Mission and Service Teams do?
Mission and Service Teams are an integral part of the Games outreach. They are also a great opportunity for –

  • Young adults to grow in their Christian faith as they work and serve together
  • Those not so young to mentor and set an example to younger team members

The role each volunteer plays will depend on their skills and experience. Opportunities include –

  • Serving water and food at Games venues
  • Sharing in leading in sports clinics and holiday clubs
  • Performing solo or as part of band, dance, or drama group
  • Working with children and young people as part of the outreach programme of a local churchthey are assigned to
  • Entertaining kids with face painting and balloon sculpting
  • Trading Olympic and Paralympic pins (badges)
  • Taking part in Torch Relay and Games community festivals

Forever 2012


The games will be over and the medals put away… What will remain in the UK must be more than just memories and the Olympic village.

With an opportunity to reach out to the peoples and communities of the United Kingdom and also to touch the hearts and souls of the million-plus visitors from the nations coming to the UK for the Olympics, a project has been carried out for the last three years.

Forever is a team focused on taking advantage of these opportunities and on conveying the gospel of Jesus at the forthcoming Games. We are preparing to mobilise thousands of outreach teams from across the world to impact people in a fresh and exciting way. Our vision statement is “Using the 2012 Olympic Games as a catalyst to release teams across the UK demonstrating Christ through continuing outreach”.

We want to impact the United Kingdom in a fresh and powerful way.

As we partner with churches and other organisations to reach out to love the people of our nation, we want to see more people empowered into outreach.

We want to establish teams, before, during and after the 2012 Games, with a vision to continue to impact the communities Forever.  

In the midst of the Games we will be hosting and coordinating a massive outreach, involving thousands of YWAMers partnering with local churches to reach communities across the UK.

Making it happen

To see this vision fulfilled we want to see new teams released in London, and at least one new team in each of the other Olympic cities. The focus for these teams will be on evangelism and urban ministries, using new ways and fresh ideas to minister to the local community. 

We will continue to build on existing networks to draw churches and different organisations under the umbrella of More Than Gold, the organisation helping churches to engage with the 2012 Games.

We will aim to serve, train and equip the Church and connect our short-term teams with the long-term visions of local churches.

Through the YWAM international network, we are inviting tens of thousands of people from across the world to come to the UK during the Olympic season.

Our work will come to nothing without your support, though. Click here to find out how you can get involved.


More than gold


I am back in England….

The challenge to return to London brings a joy and the privileged to be able to live during such an important time in the history of this country.

It is always hard to leave Brazil, being away from family, friends, the wonderful food, my own culture. But it is worth the effort.

The Olympic Games in 2012 is an event that will be watched all over the world. The opportunities are many and the expectation and excitement flows around this country. We are getting ready to receive teams from many nations, some of them have already signed up.

We want to share with everyone something there is “more than gold”. And that is why I came back to the UK.

The athletes have been training for many years. They exercise for hours and hours giving up so much in their lives all for the sake of the gold.

But there is something that is more valuable than Gold…

To find out more about it go to this website: