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Juan Antonio Samaranch to visit Olympic fair

Former president of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch is coming to Beijing to help kick off a fair for Olympic collectors.

The World Olympic Collectors Fair opens on Saturday in the Chinese capital, and Samaranch is expected to attend Sunday. The fair is being held in China for the first time, featuring a large display of pins, stamps, coins and other memorabilia bearing the Olympic rings.

Other items on display will include Olympic torches, trophies and warm-up suits. There will also be a collection of Olympic-related stamps donated by Samaranch to the Lausanne-based Olympic museum.

Over 320 exhibitors from 18 countries will display their Olympic collections.

Olympic pin trading has become a tradition, arising from the first modern Olympics in Athens, Greece, where athletes, officials and judges exchanged cards with their names and titles affixed.

Beijing Olympic organizers launched a pin-designing contest in May, welcoming people from all over China to share ideas about the Beijing Games. The Beijing Olympic organizing committee has issued over 500 types of Olympic pins with the figure expected to reach 4,000.

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