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Apple gives Vancouver Olympic visitors a rare treasure

For some fans of the Olympic Winter Games, it's all about the beauty and grace of figure skating. For others, it's the organized chaos of short-track speed skating, or the aerial bravado of the half-pipe. And for some, it has nothing to do with the sports of winter. Instead, they're intent on pin trading and collecting.

While this may sound like an odd pastime, for some Olympic fans pin collecting is a huge deal. The official Vancouver 2010 website store lists 459 different pins for collecting and trading with others, but those aren't all of the pins that fans will find. Often, local businesses or organizations will make their own pins to give away or sell, and at these Winter Games, Apple joined in on the fun.

TUAW reader Alan Waite was in Vancouver earlier in the week to attend the Games and visited the Apple Store at Pacific Centre. Much to his surprise, Apple was giving away a limited edition set of pins (see photo above) to store visitors to commemorate the event. Very classy, Apple! Waite noted that the Apple Store at Oakridge Centre had a special red iPod nano pin with the Canadian maple leaf on the screen.

Custom pins like these aren't as common as the mass-market versions sold by the official Olympics website, so Alan not only has cool memorabilia from the 2010 Winter Games, but a relatively rare piece of swag as well.

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For some fans of the Olympic Winter Games, it's all about the beauty and grace of figure skating. For others, it's the organized chaos of...