THE ROYAL MAIL is to produce a series of 'next-day' stamps to commemorate each Gold Medal won by Team GB during this summer's London 2012 Olympic Games.
Casting aside the usual time-frame of weeks to months to produce these one-off editions is a first for Royal Mail. The stamps, featuring action shots of the winning team or athlete, will be on sale by lunchtime the day after a medal has been won by Team GB at 500 post offices across the UK. This will be the first time any host has used such quick-response action imagery of medal winners.
The project is in stark contrast to the 1908 London Games where no special stamps were produced for the event - images of the reigning monarch being the sole image used at that point. The 1948 London Games did see special stamps issued, with the set of four featuring the five Olympic Rings.
"Royal Mail is proud to be involved in this once in a lifetime event and to recognise the success of Team GB" said Moya Greene, Royal Mail's Chief Executive.
"Our Gold Medal stamps will be unique souvenirs of the Games, marking the great achievements of our talented athletes. They will be a special way for people across the country to celebrate Team GB’s gold medal wins and help mark their amazing achievement."
Assuming Team GB bags a hatful of gold medals - as is widely hoped and predicted - during the Games, picture editors, 'graphic designers, printers and drivers will swing into action, working around the clock when Team GB does strike gold to meet the challenge of getting the stamps on sale by lunchtime the next day'. The challenge includes medals won late the previous evening.
"We look forward to issuing many Gold Medal stamps to honour Team GB’s victories" said Greene.
Later in the summer, Royal Mail will also produce a set of stamps to celebrate the start of the Paralympic Games on 29th August.
You can register your interest now in the stamps via the Royal Mail.