Australian Olympic strengths celebrated on stamps

17 July 2012

With only 10 days to go until the London 2012 Olympic Games, Australia Post is today celebrating Australia's success at past Olympics with three stamps representing the discipline of Swimming, sport of Rowing and the event of Pole Vault.

The three subjects chosen are indicative of the strength of Australian athletes at past Olympic Games: historically most medals won by Australian athletes have been in Swimming, Athletics, Cycling and Rowing.

Dual Olympic gold medallist Susie O'Neill was part of Australia's successful Olympic swimming team in 1992, 1996 and 2000.

"Representing Australia at the Olympics is such an honour and it's fantastic to see Australia Post supporting our tradition of competing at the Games through this series of stamps," said O'Neill.

"Our athletes are tough competitors and these three stamps definitely represent some of our biggest triumphs. We have the potential to bring home medals in all three of these sports and all Australians now have the opportunity to show their support for the team as we head towards London," she said.

Australia has without doubt been most successful in Swimming at the Olympic Games. Swimmers have represented Australia at every summer Olympics since 1900, bringing home 178 medals of which 58 are gold.

Australia is home to the reigning men's Pole Vault Olympic champion, Steve Hooker. Hooker won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and has qualified for London 2012.

We also have a strong Olympic rowing history, winning 32 medals of which 10 are gold, across men's and women's disciplines in a number of different boat categories. Australia has qualified 13 boats for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

This stamp issue, designed by Melbourne-based designer Jonathan Chong, comprises one domestic base-rate (60c) stamp (Swimming), one international postcard-rate ($1.60) stamp (Pole Vault) and one international letter-rate ($2.35) stamp (Rowing). Each stamp features a colourful image of an athlete in action against a stark white background.

The stamp illustrations have also been rendered with a watercolour effect giving them a unique appearance. The symbol of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also features on each of the stamps.

The London 2012 Olympic Games stamp products include a first day cover, stamp pack, set of three maxicards,self-adhesive sheetlet of five x $1.60 stamps, self-adhesive sheetlet of five x $2.35 and a self-adhesive roll of 100 x 60c stamps. This stamp issue also includes a postal and numismatic cover featuring three $1 Aluminium Bronze coins released by The Perth Mint. The coins are legal tender and were designed by Wade Robinson.

This stamp issue is available from participating Australia Post retail outlets, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps from 17 July 2012 while stocks last.

This stamp issue is part of Australia Post's continuing support of the 2012 Australian Olympic Team. Australia Post has already released The Road to London stamp on 5 June to commemorate the London Olympic Games, and the popular Gold Medallist instant stamps will again be issued during the Games. Every athlete and team that wins gold in London will have their photograph printed on stamps. The stamp sheetlets will be available from participating Australia Post retail outlets while stocks last within 48 hours of the medal ceremony.