Al Falcao has been a collector of various items since childhood. He began collecting stamps of the world and later specialized in First Day Covers of the US, UN and Canada. Al stopped collecting FDC's in 1997 while maintaining his focus on Olympic pins.
With his encouragement, Al's kids Faye and Fred, started collecting car
license plates. Our collection includes a license plate for every state
in the US, and, province and territory in Canada. We also completed a
collection of baseball caps with every team in Major League Baseball
Al was at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. However, he was unaware of the existence of pinsand cannot recall any pin trading activity at the Games! He caught the Olympic pin bug in mid-1988 following the Calgary Olympics. Al has been at every Olympics since 1992 and is busy trading pins with collectors around the world daily on the Web. He was invited to be a guest speaker at the 2000 Canadian Olympic Association (COA) Annual meeting of Sponsors & Licensees and made a multi-media 'Pins 101' presentation.
World-wide TV, radio and print media has interviewed Al at every Olympics he's attended. A few days prior to the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics, he did radio interviews on 'Ontario Today', and, 'Metro Morning' hosted by Andy Barrie live on CBC 99.1 FM in Toronto.
From Sydney, Al was interviewed by NBC's 'Today Show', Australia's ABC Channel 7, BBC TV & Radio, CBC's 'Sydney Today' & 'NewsWorld' among several other world-wide Olympic TV & Radio networks. He was also interviewed by TIME magazine on October 2, 2000 in 'Olympic Scene'.
Al attended the '6 Months to Go' pin show at Salt Lake City's Salt Palace Convention Center in July 2001. He was privileged to meet and trade pins with Ross C. 'Rocky' Anderson, Mayor of Salt Lake City. The Mayor presented Al with a pin that was a symbolic 'key' to the City of Salt Lake. And, just prior to the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympics, Al was featured in a full page article in Toronto's Sunday Sun entitled "He's king of the pinheads...Markham's Al Falcao is a gold medallist in Olympic sport of collecting"
Al appeared on NBC Affiliate WGRZ -TV2, Buffalo, NY in an Athens 2004 Summer Olympics feature clip on Sports News anchored by Adam Benigni. While in Athens during the Olympics, Al met numerous prominent Greek personalities including Dora Bakogianni, Mayor of Athens.
Just prior to the Torino 2006 Winter Olympics, Al was headlined as 'Pin kingpin'...a full page story in the Toronto Sunday Sun. In Torino, he traded pins at the Coca-Cola Pin Trading Centre where he was accredited as a 'pin expert'. And, Eurovision Sports News a division of EBU (European Broadcasting Union) did an extensive interview with Al with a special focus on him trading pins for smiles with kids. Check out his interview here Eurovision.
Al was at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics and is featured in 'Chasing the Dream' in The Costco Connection. His friends at Magic Graphic, Beijing Office, opened up a blog for him in Mandarin on http://blog.sina.com.cn/alspins , and included a Preface authored by Al in their Olympic Products Handbook. Al is also featured in Canada's largest Chinese daily newspaper Ming Pao, and his pin pursuits appear in ESPN - The Magazine and BeijingToday.
For the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Al was the first pin collector to be featured on the Official VANOC website and was also featured in the CTV 'Believe' promo ad campaign http://alspins.com/ctv.mov . Al met with my son Cole's senior kindergarten class at St. Patrick school and gave the kids a brief presentation on the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Each kid received pin gifts and in a lucky draw, one of the kids received a Wonder+ Vancouver 2010 mascot set of five different Olympic pins http://alspins.com/torch.htm.
While in Vancouver, Al did several media interviews and here are a few examples...
He introduced pin collecting and trading to the kids at Camp
Oochigeas and enlisted the support of several major Olympic sponsors
to donate thousands of Olympic pins to a very worthwhile cause.
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