New Zealand has proudly been part of the Olympic movement since 1908, when we teamed up with Australia to compete under the banner of ‘Australasia’. We won our first medal the same year, with a bronze for Harry Kerr in the 3500-metre walk. In 1920 we sent our first official Olympic team, and since then our athletes have achieved remarkable success, winning gold in sports ranging from boxing to athletics, yachting, rowing, hockey, equestrian, canoeing, boardsailing, swimming, cycling and triathlon.
In this stamp issue New Zealand Post celebrated all of those New Zealanders who strive to achieve at the pinnacle of their chosen sport.
50c – Celebrate
Our 2008 Beijing Olympics stamp issue is a celebration of the event and the people who make the Olympics the ultimate sports event – those who’ve represented us with distinction in the past, and those who’ve proved they have the drive, the determination and the performance record to compete in 2008.
50c – Passion
The Olympics stamps depict four of the sports in which Kiwis have excelled – cycling, rowing, canoeing and athletics. Closely connected to our 2008 Children’s Health issue, the stamps share a similar design and illustrative style – demonstrating through words the link between the children of today and the sporting heroes of tomorrow.
$1.00 – Succeed
Olympic ‘success’ is measured in many ways – and a gold medal win is simply one of them. For New Zealanders, every athlete who represents our country is already a success; we’re hugely proud of their dedication to their sport, their willingness to train to the limits of their endurance, and their spirit of healthy competition wherever in the world their talents take them.
$2.00 - Motivate
With a long history of outstanding Olympic successes behind them, the 2008 New Zealand team had plenty of motivation! It’s a team spirit that has taken generations of teams from this small, isolated country to compete against the best in the world – and often to return victorious.
Date of issue: 2 July 2008
Number of stamps: Four gummed
Denominations: 50c gummed (x2), $1.00, $2.00
Stamps and first day cover designed by: Martin Bailey, Auckland, New Zealand
Printer: Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size : Gummed: 35mm x 35mm
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 25
Perforation gauge: Gummed: 14.25