Olympic Stamps [Edit]

Olympic Stamps have been issued since the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. The Greek government issued a series of 12 different stamps as a means to help finance the Ist Olympic Games of the modern era. This has since become a common method used by Organizing Committees to raise money. The 1896 Olympic Stamps are considered the first stamps in the world to feature a sports theme. No stamps were issued for the 1900 or 1904 Olympic Games, nor for the Olympic Games of 1908 or 1912. But Greece again issued a series of 14 stamps for the 1906 Intercalated Olympic Games. In 1920, Belgium issued a series of three stamps to assist in their financing. Since 1920, every host nation has produced a series of Olympic Stamps. In 1924, Uruguay produced three stamps to commemorate their football team’s gold medal, and they repeated this in 1928 – both the football gold medal and the commemorative stamps. These were the first stamps issued by a non-host nation related to the Olympic Games. Czechoslovakia also produced a series of three stamps in honor of hosting the 8th Olympic Congress in Prague in 1925, and in 1928 Portugal issued a series of Olympic Stamps in honor of the 1928 Olympic Games. Since the 1920s it has become common for many non-host countries to produce Olympic Stamps. The IOC has recognized this, and formed the Olympic Commission for Philately, Numismatism and Olympic Memorabilia. The Commission was led until his death by former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, who was an avid stamp collector, although the Commission is no longer active. The hobby of collecting Olympic Stamps has become widespread, and an organization has been formed devoted to it – the Fédération Internationale Philatélie Olympique (FIPO), which also has 31 national chapters as of 2010.