A National Olympic Committee (NOC) represents the Olympic Movement at a national level and the interests of its country on the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Currently, there are 200 National Olympic Committees, the first being established in 1894.
At the beginning of the last century, individual NOCs began to issue pins to their own Olympians at the Olympic Games.
As the number of NOCs proliferated, the issue of these popular pins also increased proportionately.
Initially, the athletes began to exchange pins amongst themselves until the visitors to the Olympics discovered their attractive collection potential.
Collecting pins is one of the oldest ways of collecting Olympic memorabilia and it still enjoys great popularity.