By Lauren Mattera

Ian Kershaw - pinsNovember 29 - Ian Kershaw of Pinvin, Worcestershire, has been crowned winner of insidegamescollectings My Favourite Pin Story competition earning himself £800 ($1,300/€1,000) worth of official limited edition London 2012 pins.

Claiming second prize is Charlotte Elton of Surrey while Canada's Dave Durfey has clinched the third spot.

Kershaw's pin story displays the values and ideals of pin trading which happened to touch upon so many people during the London 2012 Games.

Independent judge, Darryl Seibel of the British Olympic Association (BOA) said: "All four of the finalists had outstanding stories to share, and they are all deserving of recognition.

"The reason I chose Ian's story is because it captures the spirit of the Olympic Games – which is people from around the world coming together in a shared sense of friendship, mutual understanding and respect, for a global celebration of athletic and personal excellence.

"Pin trading is a vehicle that helps achieve one of the larger objectives of the Olympic Movement, which is to bring people together in a spirit of friendship and understanding.

"It's sometimes hard to believe that a tiny piece of metal, often weighing only a few ounces, can have the power to connect two people from entirely different parts of the world – but that's part of the magic of the Olympic Games environment."

The competition received outstanding entries and highlighted how pin trading became an immediate and effective way to connect with others from around the globe.

Sarah Bowron, managing director of insidethegames said: "We would like to thank everyone who entered our competition.

"The response has been overwhelming and each individual story and meaning behind everyone's stories is fantastic.

"We expect lots more to come from Olympic pin collecting as we work towards Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016."

Charlotte Elton - pinCharlotte Elton exchanges pins with tennis star Venus Williams

Kershaw will be walking away with a collection of British Birds, British Flowers, Olympic and Paralympic Pictograms, Teapots, West End Theatre, British Countryside, Wenlock and Mandeville set, as well as our very own limited edition insidethegames full set puzzle pin.

After receiving an impressive 130 entries, the decision was not easy for the independent judge.

Elton's silver placed story demonstrates the engagement between fans and athletes which pin collecting has the power to bring together, as she discusses her experience trading pins with tennis star Venus Williams, who won a gold medal at London 2012 in the mixed doubles with sister Serena.

The bronze placed story by Durfey is an interesting and unique journey starting back in 2004 right through to this summer's Games, this portrays a fine illustration of catching the "bug" that is a pin collecting phenomenon.

Due to the impressive standard of entries, the independent judge has said that fourth place runner-up Scott Daniells' of Folkestone story will be highly commended.

Scott Daniells - pinsScott Daniells' pin story received fourth place

My Favourite Pin Story competition offered readers the opportunity to trade their favourite pin collecting story for the chance to win a collection of limited edition official London 2012/Honav pins, and received more than130 entries from across the world.

The competition celebrated the partnership between insidethegames and Honav UK – the official exclusive licensee in the lapel pin category for London 2012, and ran for the duration of the London 2012 Games.

To read the winning story click here.

To read all our fantastic entries click here.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]