Saturday 7 July 2012

Paralympic 2012 Gold Medal issue

When Royal Mail told dealers that there would be stamps (miniature sheets) issued for each Olympic Gold Medal at London 2012 we asked whether the same would apply to the Paralympic Games.  

The answer was no, mostly I suspect because at the 2008 Beijing games Great Britain's Paralympians won no less than 42 gold medals and such a quantity would put even greater strain on printers, Royal Mail distribution, post offices, and collectors' pockets!

The Paralympic Games has always been the poor cousin of the Olympics in terms of media coverage. Whether this is because there is genuinely less public interest or because that interest has not been fired by the same level of media coverage is difficult to tell.  Nonetheless it seemed that in terms of stamp issues the Games would be covered only by the Welcome miniature sheet and the end-of-games souvenir.

Now Royal Mail has announced that the British Paralympic Games gold medal winners will be commemorated on a single six-stamp miniature sheet to be issued after the games:

With the growing excitement around the London 2012 Games we are delighted to announce that we will be celebrating the ParalympicGB Gold Medal winners with a Miniature Sheet. This will contain six special stamps which will feature the gold medal winning athletes on a single minisheet to be issued on 27 September 2012. This will be the perfect memento of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

This is the quickest turnover that Royal Mail could manage amid hopes that ParalympicsGB may repeat the medal success of the 42 golds it won at Beijing 2008 to come second in the medals table.

The Royal Mail is also handing over £200,000 which will be split equally between the ParalympicsGB gold medallists.

This summer's Paralympics, which can be traced back to a competition for the war wounded at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1948, are heading back home for the first time.


  1. Ian, will the miniature sheet of six celebrate all the gold medallists, or will multiple sheets of six be issued so each gold medal win is celebrated?

    Australia Post has only commemorated Olympic gold medallists as they are the 'best in the world' (Australia Post's words). I would suspect Royal Mail is thinking along the same lines. Also in 2000 Australia won 63 Paralympic gold medals, and GB may win many more in 2012.

    In 2000 Australia Post released a personalised sheet for each Paralympian, however these were only printed on demand. A single stamp was also issued after the event commemorating the Paralympian of the Year. Paralympian of the Year stamps have been issued for each Summer Paralympics since. Interestingly, for the Winter Paralympics in 2002, were Australia won two gold medals, Australia Post also issued stamps (well tabs to be precise), for the two winners.

    Oddly, Australia Post did celebrate each 'paralympian' gold medal winner with a separate stamp for the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. I suspect we will have the same in 2018.

  2. Hi Chris

    It's one MS of 6 stamps showing all the medalists, so some of those stamps may be quite crowded! On the basis of Beijing there would be 7 winners on each stamp, and as you suggest GB may be expected to win more at home. As you, and Australia Post, will be aware there are multiple issues concerning intellectual property rights, for the world organisation, the British organisation, and for each of the athletes. Getty images are handling the Olympic images that will be used on the other stamps and I would think they would do so for this sheet.

    It is remotely possible that one of the Business Customised Sheet sponsors may seek to produce individual - or maybe 10 different labels per sheet - but they have so many hoops to jump through, that they may consider it too much trouble.

    We'll see!

  3. I think that they should e more acknowledged than they are


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