Five commemorative postage stamps, featuring gold medallists and historic moments from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, were officially launched on Friday, May 3, by the Post and Telecommunications Department.
The stamps, each valued at $60, feature record holder in the 200 and 100 meters, Usain Bolt; 400-metre hurdles gold medallist, Melanie Walker; 200-metre gold medallist, Veronica Campbell Brown; and gold medallist in the 100 metres, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce.
Also featured are Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart, who both earned silver medals in the 100 meters, and the record breaking 4×100 metre relay team of Usain Bolt, Michael Frater, Asafa Powell, and Nesta Carter.
The stamps will be made available to the public as collector items and will also be sold as postage stamps.
She commended the Post and Telecommunications Department for creating the tribute to honour some of “our most outstanding and valuable Jamaican citizens”. “Looking at the stamps, I am sure we will bask again in the glory of those tremendous Beijing days,” she stated.
Speaking at the launch at the Central Sorting Office at 6-10 South Camp Road, Minister with responsibility for Sport, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, said the stamps record priceless and historic moments in Jamaica’s athletics on the world stage. Mrs. Neita Headley extended gratitude to the athletes for permitting their images to be utilised in tribute to Jamaica’s successes in Beijing, and Bryan Cummings for allowing his photographs to be used to create the stamps.
“I also express thanks to the coaches, administrators, managers and sponsors, who contribute so much to make our success in the sport a reality,” she added.
Mrs. Neita Headley encouraged Jamaicans to enjoy the collection and reminisce in the pride and joy of the nation’s success in Beijing.
In his remarks, President, Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Mike Fennel, said it is a pleasure to be associated with the stamps honouring the island’s sporting heroes.
He explained that one of the reasons for the delay in the issuing of the stamps was to sort out the “legal ramifications”.
Postmaster General, Michael Gentles, said the stamps are valuable collectors’ items and a useful tool for preserving Jamaica’s heritage.
“Getting approval for the issuing of stamps is a rather lengthy and arduous process, and to use the Olympic rings and the athletes’ images and so on, takes a lot of time,” he informed.
He stated that over the past 30 years, the Post and Telecommunications Department has been issuing commemorative Olympic stamps starting with the 1976 Games in Montreal, where Donald Quarrie copped gold and silver in the 200 metres and 100 metres, respectively.
“There are many other events and landmarks, which become special stamp issues. Most recently, we issued stamps commemorating Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence and the anniversary of the abolition of slavery,” he noted.
Contact Chris Patterson