News and press releases
- Royal Mail is issuing a set of four Special Stamps to mark the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games
- Royal Mail is the first postal administration whose country is hosting the event to issue a set of stamps to celebrate the start of the Paralympic Games
- The stamps will be available from 29 August 2012 in around 5000 Post Office branches and online at www.royalmail.com/paralympics
- The UK is the birthplace of the Paralympic Games. The movement was founded in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, in 1948 by Dr Ludwig Guttmann, who was known as the “father of sports for people with disabilities”. London 2012 will be the second time the UK has hosted the Paralympic Games
- The stamps will feature four Paralympic sports – Powerlifting, Athletics, Wheelchair Basketball and Cycling – alongside iconic London landmarks
- The landmarks featured are St Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge, the Palace of Westminster, the London Eye and the Olympic Stadium
- Throughout the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Royal Mail will produce a stamp for each individual or team ParalympicGB gold medal win.
- Royal Mail will also turn one of its iconic red post boxes gold in the hometown of every ParalympicGB gold medallist, just as it did for TeamGB winners during the Olympic games.
Royal Mail will issue a set of four stamps to celebrate the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The stamps feature four Paralympic sports alongside iconic London landmarks creating a striking set of stamps.
The stamps will be available from 29 August, the first day of the Paralympic Games. Royal Mail will become the first postal administration whose country is hosting the Games, to issue a set of stamps to celebrate the start of the Paralympic Games.
Included in the set are two 1st Class stamps. The first features a Paralympian competing in Athletics alongside the Olympic Stadium, whilst the second shows Wheelchair Basketball together with the Palace of Westminster.
The set also includes two £1.28 stamps ideal for worldwide airmail postage, perfect for tourists visiting London for the Games to write home with their memories of the action. The first of these stamps features Powerlifting with St Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge while the other features a Paralympic cyclist alongside the London Eye.
The four sports selected highlight just a handful of those that will be represented. In total, around 4,200 athletes from 160 countries are expected to attend the Paralympic Games. There will be around 471 medal events on the programme spread across 21 sports, showing just how far the Paralympic Games has progressed since its origin in 1948.
The modern Paralympic Games can be traced back to 1948 when the Paralympic movement began. That summer, Dr Ludwig Guttmann, inspirational director of the Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, decided to organise an archery competition to coincide with the Olympics, for those who had been injured or wounded during the Second World War and were confined to wheelchairs.
Royal Mail will be the first postal administration to commemorate the gold medals of its national Paralympics team, producing a stamp for each individual or team ParalympicGB gold medal win during the Games. The Gold Medal stamps will be on sale at 518 dedicated Post Offices across the UK within five working days of each gold medal win and thereafter at a further 5,000 branches
Royal Mail will also turn one of its iconic red post boxes gold in the hometown of every ParalympicGB gold medallist, just as it did for TeamGB winners during the London 2012 Olympic games.
Royal Mail has showcased all the sports disciplines that will be seen in this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, in three sets of stamps counting down to the London 2012 Games.
Tanni Grey-Thompson, the 11 time Paralympics Gold medallist said: “The excitement of the Paralympic games is palpable. All our athletes have worked very hard and all that’s left to do is go out there, give it their best and have a great time”
Moya Greene, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Mail, said: “The Paralympics will be a wonderful event – London’s looking forward to welcoming Paralympians from all over the globe, and we think these stamps are an excellent way to reflect the once-in-a-lifetime event.”
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: “Royal Mail has continued to show their support for the Paralympic Games and the British Paralympic team with this set of stamps celebrating the start of the London 2012 Paralympics. We hope these stamps will help get the nation excited about the Paralympic Games and encourage the public to support ParalympicsGB when it’s our turn to compete against the best in the world.”
For more information please contact:
Royal Mail Press Office
100 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0HQ
Note to Editors
Paralympic stamps and stamp products are available in over Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/paralympics and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.
Previous Olympic and Paralympic stamp issues
- On 27 September, Royal Mail will issue ‘Memories of the Games’ stamps – a four stamp celebration of highlights and memorable moments from both the Olympic and Paralympic Games
- Royal Mail has a proud history of commemorating the London Olympic Games, having issued four stamps for the 1948 Games bearing the five Olympic Rings
- Olympic stamps were not issued to mark the London 1908 Games as Royal Mail stamps then bore images of the reigning monarch only
Other Royal Mail stamps to feature Olympic Sports include:
- 1992 - International Events (Olympics and Paralympics)
- 1996 - Atlanta Olympic and Paralympic Teams
- 2005 - London 2012 Miniature Sheet (reproduction of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic issue revalued from 26p to 1st class) to mark London winning the bid to host the Games
- In January of this year, London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games definitive stamps went on sale, marking the Olympic year and featuring the Olympic and Paralympic logos
- Royal Mail also issued a special collection of Olympic Gold Medal stamps marking every Team GB gold medal win. These were Royal Mail’s first ever next-day stamps and celebrated individual and team achievements with action shots capturing the moments the gold medals were won
Paralympic Games facts and figures
- Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire is the place where the Paralympic Games was first started
- Ludwig Guttmann, a German Jewish refugee organised an archery event in 1948 for Second World War veterans in wheelchairs
- The London 2012 Paralympic Games will be the biggest ever featuring 4,200 athletes
- At the London 2012 Paralympic Games more than 160 nations will compete in 21 different sports
- This is the first time that the Paralympic Games have been held in London although their origin is traced back to the UK when London last hosted the Olympic Games in 1948
- The Paralympic Games only formally adopted this name in 1988, 40 years after its origin
- The Paralympic Games will be competed for at nine different UK venues
The Paralympic Games takes place from 29 August until 9 September
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