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The Road to Rio: Pin trading and memorabilia a huge draw for fans of Olympic Games

News 3 Team Rio member Larry shares some of his extensive collection of Olympics memorabilia. Among his treasures, the trading pins he's gathered over the years. 7/22/2016 (Larry | KSNV)

Once people from all over the world descend on Rio de Janiero this year, they'll be connecting with each other in unique ways.

Among some of the most popular pastimes for patrons of the Olympic games, is pin trading. The collecting became popular during the 1980 Lake Placid Games, helping to usher in the "golden age" of pin trading.

Today, pins are still all the rage because they are affordable souvenirs, and they're the perfect way for game attendees to connect with one another.

News 3 Team Rio member Larry shared some of his extensive collection with us ahead of his trip to the 2016 games.

"My goal, which was only attained in 1996, is to get a pin from someone from every country participating in the Olympics. I was only successful in Atlanta because I lived there at the time and was able to meet folks before and after the Games. In Atlanta there were 197 nations represented," said Larry.

Dig a little deeper into Larry's impressive collection and you'll find that he has more than just pins. He is a true Olympic collector.

One of our favorite finds is Larry's 1980 Moscow Olympic Torch.

"One of my biggest Olympic disappointments was not being selected to run the Olympic torch in 2002 for Salt Lake. Selection was largely a popularity contest - you had to get hundreds of people to recommend you on the internet," said Larry of the memento.

Larry has also collected uniforms over the years. Looking through his accumulated pile, you'll see how Olympic fashion has evolved from decade to decade.

Did you know that every person on an Olympic team is given a participation medal? Larry has collected medals from Olympic games dating back to 1952.

"Starting clockwise from the top left we have Helsinki 52, Innsbruck 64, Moscow 80, LA 84, Atlanta 96, Beijing 08, Barcelona 92, Lake Placid 80, Calgary 88, and Grenoble 68," said Larry.

News 3 will stay on top of the pin traders as they take on Rio in 2016. We are eager to bring you more from our News 3 Team Rio Olympic collector Larry as he travels to his 11th Olympics this year.

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