In the lead up to the London 2012 Games Royal Mail is issuing 30 stamps, each showcasing an Olympic or Paralympic sport. The second set of 10 stamps is available from today.
Apart from the contemporary look of this issue (each stamp is designed by a different artist), what makes it so interesting is the range of sports covered. Modern pentathlon, taekwondo, goalball and BMX cycling all make their debut on a British stamp, while many of the other sports featured appear for the only the second time ever.
Several previous sets of stamps, issued for the Commonwealth or Olympic Games, have covered a wide range of sports, but none have ever included a Paralympic sport. Indeed, people with disabilities have rarely featured on British stamps – the International Year of the Disabled stamps being one of the few exceptions.
Goalball was developed for blind and partially sighted players, and sees two teams of three competing to throw a ball into their opponents’ goal. A bell inside the ball enables the players to hear its location. In the stamp designed by Tobatron, the bell inside the ball is neatly shown by giving the goalball a speech bubble.
The British Olympic and Paralympic teams hope to do well at the London 2012 Games, and quotes from boxer Luke Campbell and goalball player Anna Sharkey appear on the first day of issue postmarks which accompany this issue.
The Olympic and Paralmypic Games stamps are available from Royal Mail Stamps & Collecting.