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Olympian Efforts

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

Every two years, the U-S and most other countries issue stamps to commemorate the Olympics. 
The first U-S Olympics stamp was issued for the Lake Placid winter games in 1932. The most 
recent was issued in June, for the Beijing games. It shows a female gymnast surrounded by 
ribbons, plus the Olympic rings.

The International Olympic Committee considers the five-rings symbol to be a trademark, and 
won't let just anybody use it. In 1980, the U-S Postal Service and I-O-C couldn't come to 
terms...and the U-S stamps that year show five STARS instead of rings.

That was also the year the U-S boycotted the summer games in Moscow...although the two 
weren't connected.

In recent years, the U-S has issued just one stamp for the Olympics, unless the games are 
being held in this country. Then it issues more, some of them at international rates, 
ostensibly so the athletes can send mail home.

Other countries that aren't hosting the events frequently issue several, or even many, 
stamps. They're popular with collectors.

But there's another tie-in between the Olympics and stamps: Every year, just before the 
start of the games, the local organizing committee arranges for a stamp show, called 
Olymphilex. The long-time former president of the International Olympic Committee, Juan 
Antonio Samaranch, is an avid stamp collector, and put the stamp show into the requirements.

I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting, 
visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com.

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