By David Gold

olympic stampsJanuary 2 - Gold medal stamps will be released by Royal Mail to celebrate Team GB's victories at the London 2012 Olympic Games, only the third time a host nation will have done this.

It is the first time that Royal Mail have announced they will issue stamps which will mark Olympic victories, and they will feature both individual and team victories.

Royal Mail's Stephen Agar said: "We're delighted to announce we will be issuing these very special gold medal stamps.

"We hope that we will be printing many sets, just as the nation hopes that it will be celebrating many victories next summer."

There are also plans to commemorate the Paralympic Games, while the specific design of the stamps will be announced at a later date.

Having won 19 gold medals in Beijing at the 2008 Olympic Games, Britain will hope to win even more events in 2012 and keep Royal Mail busy.

The likes of the distance runner Mo Farah, the heptathlete Jessica Ennis and the swimmers Keri-Anne Payne and Rebecca Adlington are among the favourites to have their faces on stamps after next summer's Games.

Though the Royal Mail issued Olympic Games stamps in 1948 it is just the third time, after Australia in 2000 and Greece in 2004, that the host nation will issue stamps to commemorate individual gold medals.

Royal Mail has previously marked the World Cup victory in 1966 by England with a set of special stamps as well as the 2005 Ashes victory and the 2003 Rugby World Cup triumph.

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