Sunday, February 19, 2006

Philately and the Olympics

At a special stamp, coin and memorabilia exhibit being held at the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, visitors can see the first Olympic and sports stamps.

Issued in 1896 by Greece (see photo at left), they commemorated the 1st International Olympic games of the modern era.

There is also an on-line version titled Philathely [that's the way they misspelled it, folks!] and the Olympic Movement where you can view these and other stamps.

The site points out that, "..... Olympic stamps were the first 'sponsors' of the Olympic Games. Since then, Olympic stamps have contributed to the budget of Organising Committees for the Olympic Games, National Olympic Committees and Olympic events."

It also reveals an interesting philatelic fact about the 1896 stamps (Scott #117-128)

"It was widely believed that there were many different post offices operating in Athens at the time of the release of this issue. The different post marks indicated up to eight different post offices. However it was proven that there was only one post office operating at the time with eight different counters."

To visit the site, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM