In time-honoured tradition, collectors and sports fans keen to get their hands on mementoes from the first ever Olympic Games to take place in South America have no shortage of specially designed memorabilia to choose from.
No less than 31 official Rio 2016 commemorative stamps were issued mark the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, depicting some of the world’s most iconic athletes in action.
Designed by Brazilian illustrator José Carlos Braga, less than one hundred thousand of each design was issued. “The stamps are part of the history of the Games and help construct the memory of the biggest sporting event on the planet,” said Sylmara Multini, Rio 2016’s Licensing Director, when the first batch was launched last year.
“We are very proud of the first batch in the series – our stamps are joyful and modern, like Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “We hope that our stamps will take a little of the Games spirit to the public, along with the coins and pins.”
Rio 2016 also has no less than 800 different types of pins to add to the Olympic tradition of pin swapping among athletes and fans. The tradition began with the use of badges to identify Olympians and has now become a way of exchanging memories and making connections. Some three million have been produced, featuring the design of the Games and the logos for each sport.
Luiz Carlos and Cida Correa, from the mountain town of Nova Friburgo in Rio de Janeiro state, are among those planning to add to their collection, which is one of the largest in Brazil. They started collecting pins in 2004 and now have more than 13,000, many of which came through their website for swapping the little metal keepsakes.
“We obtained about 95 per cent of our pins through swaps or purchases involving collectors in Europe,” said Carlos. “Here in Brazil, sometimes you find something at antique fairs, second-hand shops and trinket stores.
As well as the traditional collectors’ items, there are also Olympic products with a very Brazilian twist including the popular Havaianas beach flip-flops and products inspired by mascots Tom and Vinicius.
But for those in Rio, the most valuable souvenir will be the commemorative events tickets featuring special sporting pictograms for the first time.
Mario Andrada, executive director of communications at Rio 2016, said: “We will want to tell our grandchildren about the Rio 2016 Games and these are also our tickets to history.”