SOCHI, Russia – A pin shortage in Olympic Park should be over soon. So say organizers and the IOC.
That's good news for traders, with a small informal pin market that popped up for the first time Wednesday the only clear place the popular souvenirs are currently available in the park. The Olympic superstore, where long lines have formed in recent days, does not have pins available inside.
The Russian mint produced 1 million pins for the Sochi Games, with 30 percent of them sold as of Tuesday, Sochi 2014 organizers said in a statement in response to an Associated Press query.
They've been sold in 1,000 stores across 70 Russian regions — but not early on in Olympic Park. That'll change "in the next couple days," organizers say.
IOC officials were asked about the pins Wednesday for the second time in two days during their daily news conference. The first time, IOC spokeswoman Aleksandra Kosterina responded by playfully offering the journalist asking a pin, touching off a lighthearted flurry of "me too!" requests from other reporters.
On Wednesday, Kosterina said she'd stayed on top of the issue to get the pins back in the main Olympic store.
"I asked to make sure the pins are always there because that's definitely the most popular artifact of the games," she said.
— By Oskar Garcia — Twitter http://twitter.com/oskargarcia
Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu