Olympics stamps: A great hit!

Saturday, August 11, 2012
Olympics stamps shows the lighter side of the games 
By John Samuel* 

London is making history as the first city ever to host the Olympic Games three times - in 1908, 1948 and 2012. It is also making history by bringing many attractive and innovative postage stamps to commemorate the 30th Olympics.

Stamps on sports events, especially Olympics, are quite popular among the philatelists and sports people. Most of the sports lovers are much interested to have the rare collection of stamps released during international sports events, specially the Stamps on Olympics. That's the reason, many countries across the world are bringing out special stamps on Olympics. Interestingly, when the first Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896, 12 postage stamps were issued by the host country Greece.

These stamps were issued not only to focus on the greatest sports event in the international sporting arena but also to raise additional revenue for conducting the Games.

In the countdown to London 2012 Royal Mail is issuing 30 stamps for the 30th Olympiad and the London 2012 Paralympics Games. Each stamp champions an Olympic or Paralympics Sport and they are issued in three sets of ten stamps each. Merging stunning photography of Olympic disciplines and London landmarks, the Miniature Sheet of stamps is unique and dramatic in equal measure. It also features the London 2012 Emblem in its border.

On the inaugural day of the event, Royal Mail unveiled a set of four Olympic stamps featuring athletes from four of the most popular events alongside London landmarks. They show a cyclist, a fencer, a diver and runners beside Tate Modern, Tower Bridge, the Olympic Stadium and the London Eye. These attractive stamps combining the sports events along with the London landmarks have become a great hit across the world and orders for these stamps have been pouring. 

In unprecedented move for Great Britain, Royal Mail has announced that it will issue a new stamp to celebrate each and every British Gold Medal.  It is a great tribute to Britain's Olympians that really sticks. No doubt, it's a great way to acknowledge and honour the Gold medal winners of Olympics 2012. Winning an Olympic gold medal is the pinnacle of any athlete's career and the Gold medal stamps capture these moments in the sporting history of the country.

Definitely, for the athletes, it's a special honour to be acknowledged in such an iconic way. The plan is to make as many of the stamps as possible featuring photographs of the athlete or team during competition. It sounds quite interesting and innovative.

This is how it will work. As soon as one of the British athletes wins a Gold Medal, the Royal Mail design team will start work on the winner's design.  Within an hour or so of victory, digital artwork will be sent to six security printers around the country who will work over-night to ensure delivery of the new stamps in time for 'the next day' issue of the stamps. What an innovative and interesting concept to promote stamps and at the same time to promote sports!

The Olympic Games are considered to be the world's foremost sports competition in which thousands of athletes from different nations participate in a variety of competitions. The sports persons from different nations, culture and background come together and compete fairly and honestly to promote peace and harmony. India Post has been commemorating national and international sports events by releasing special postage stamps.

For the London 2012 Olympic Games,  India Post released a set of four commemorative postage stamps and a souvenir sheet on the theme 'Inspire a Generation'.   The stamps are a stylized portrayal of sportsmen engaged in Volleyball, Rowing, Sailing and Badminton.

Australia Post has a long tradition of supporting Olympics through series of stamps. During London 2012, Australia Post is celebrating Australia’s success at past Olympic Games with three stamps representing discipline of Swimming, sport of Rowing and the event of Pole Vault.

This stamp issue, designed by Melbourne-based designer Jonathan Chong, comprises one domestic base-rate stamp (Swimming), one international postcard-rate stamp (Pole Vault) and one international letter-rate stamp (Rowing).  Each stamp features a colourful image of an athlete in action against a stark white background. 

This stamp issue is part of Australia Post’s continuing support of the 2012 Australian Olympic Team. Australia Post has already released The Road to London stamp on 5 June to commemorate the London Olympic Games. It features several iconic London landmarks and pays tribute to the hard work and dedication of Australian athletes by featuring the official logo of the Australian Olympic Team. 
 Stamp designer Jonathon Chong has made the red double-decker bus the focal point of the stamp, which first appeared in London after World War II and has since become synonymous with England's capital. The distinctive dome of St Paul's Cathedral can be seen on the left of the stamp; a cathedral which is said to embody the spiritual life and heritage of the British. In the centre sits the iconic London Eye, a Ferris wheel of enormous proportions.
The London Eye is one of the world's largest structures of its kind and is visited by over 3.5 million people each year. Also pictured on the right of the stamp is perhaps London's most identifiable symbol of all, the Clock Tower colloquially referred to as Big Ben.
Australia Post is also bringing out the enormously popular Gold Medal instant stamps during the Olympic Games 2012. Every Australian athlete and team that wins gold in London will have their photograph printed on stamps. 

After their gold medal-winning performance in the Women's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay on Saturday 28 July, Alicia Coutts, Cate Campbell, Brittany Elmslie and Melanie Schlanger are the first Australian athletes to feature on the Australian Gold Medallist Stamps for the London 2012 Olympic Games.  

Singapore Post, known for its professionalism in managing the postal services in the city state of Singapore, has brought out four stamps, showcasing the official London 2012 Olympic mascot Winlock in the sports poses. This set of four stamps highlights some of the popular sports that Singapore athletes will be aiming for success -Table Tennis, Swimming, Sailing and Badminton.(PIB Features)
*John Samuel is Chief Post Master General, Department of Post, J&K Circle, Srinagar, Kashmir.
Next Post »