Royal Mail promises speedy delivery of Team GB 2012 gold medal winner stamps
Wednesday, 11 April 2012
April 11 - Royal Mail are set to issue action shot stamps of Team GB gold medal winners at the London 2012 Olympic Games, which will be available for customers to purchase the day after the victory.
It was revealed earlier this year that the gold medal stamps would be released by the Royal Mail in a move that will make Britain the third only host city to do so, following Australia with Sydney 2000 and Greece with Athens 2004.
However, the details on the stamp mean that Britain will be the first time host country to use action shots for gold medal stamps and also the first to issue the stamps immediately during the Games.
The design will feature, wherever possible, photographs of the Team GB athlete or team in action from their final.
Where this is not possible, the image will be portray another moment from the athlete's gold medal-winning journey, for example from a heat or during the presentation of their gold medal on the podium.
The stamps will be on sale by lunchtime the next day at 500 selected post offices across the UK and will then be distributed three times during the Games to a further 4,500 UK post offices.
It is the first time Royal Mail has ever issued next day stamps.
The design was unveiled at the Olympic Park in Stratford by Britain's Barcelona 1992 400 metre hurdles champion Sally Gunnell (pictured above left), who admitted she loved the idea.
"I think it is just the most amazing thing," said the 45-year-old from Essex.
"I think it's something the athletes won't quite believe when they see their faces on them.
"This is something that will really capture everybody's imagination."
The initiative means that picture editors, graphic designers, printers and drivers will swing into action, working around the clock to meet the challenge of getting the stamps on sale by lunchtime the next day, even if the medal win is late the previous evening.
Having won 19 gold medals at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Britain will hope to win even more events in 2012 and keep Royal Mail busy.
"Royal Mail is proud to be involved in this once-in-a-lifetime event and to recognise the success of Team GB," said Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene.
"Our gold medal stamps will be unique souvenirs of the Games, marking the great achievements of our talented athletes.
"They will be a special way for people across the country to celebrate Team GB's gold medal wins and help mark their amazing achievement."
Although this is the first time Royal Mail has issued stamps to mark Olympic victories, the company issued its first Olympic Games stamps in 1948 (pictured above), with four stamps bearing the five Olympic rings.
Olympic stamps were not issued to mark the 1908 London Games as Royal Mail stamps then bore images of the reigning monarch only.
The Royal Mail is also set to commemorate the ParalympicsGB team with a series of separate stamps during the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
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January 2012: Royal Mail stamps will mark Team GB gold medal triumphs at London 2012
July 2011: Royal Mail releases final set of 2012 Olympic stamps
August 2009: Royal Mail delivers London 2012 stamp deal