Last week we reported that Royal Mail would be painting a traditonal red pillarbox gold in the hometowns of each Great Britain gold medallist. Now they’ve gone a step further, immortalising cyclist Bradley Wiggins and rowing pair Helen Glover and Heather Stanning on official postage stamps.
Wiggins’s victory in the Cycling Road Race Time Trial yesterday made him the most decorated British Olympian of all time, with seven medals, while Glover and Stanning made history as the country’s first ever female rowing gold medallists after destroying the field in the women’s pair.
Within hours of the Olympians’ victories yesterday, the stamps were in production, with Glover and Stanning presented with a giant version of theirs by BBC presenter Gary Lineker.
Around 100,000 stamps featuring the gold medallists will be delivered to 500 post offices across Britain today, with an additional 4,700 branches receiving them within a week.
Royal Mail’s Tim Cowen said the printing team have been preparing for the moment for some time.
“We’ve been practising this for about two years. We reckon that as long as we don’t get any more than three gold medals in an hour, people will be able to buy those stamps (the next day) in post offices,” he said.
Royal Mail’s chief executive Moya Greene added: “This is a first for Royal Mail and we are proud to play our part in celebrating the many victories this summer.
“We will be printing millions of stamps to enable customers to celebrate these sporting successes and I’m sure they will be treasured as unique souvenirs of Team GB’s victories for years to come.”