Monday Morning Brief | Rio 2016 Summer Olympics

Aug 15, 2016, 4 AM

Monday Morning Brief | Rio 2016 Summer Olympics

Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman reports on “instant” stamps from Australia and New Zealand honoring Olympic medalists at Rio and discusses previous Olympic stamps.

Full video transcript:

Good morning and welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for August 15.

Australia Post and New Zealand Post are issuing new Olympic stamps as quickly as athletes are smashing records at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, or so it seems. Both countries are issuing what are often referred to as “instant” stamps. The stamps typically go on sale to the public the day after an Olympic win. Australia Post is continuing its tradition of issuing stamps for Australian gold medalists, but New Zealand Post has taken it a step further by issuing stamps for all New Zealand medalists, including bronze and silver medalists in addition to gold.

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On Aug. 7, trap shooter Natalie Rooney won the first medal for New Zealand’s Olympic team. Early in the morning on Aug. 8, New Zealand Post emailed the announcement of a new $1 stamp showing a smiling Rooney proudly holding her silver medal. The instant stamps are being sold in panes of six.

New Zealand also issued a set of stamps in a sheetlet of 10 titled “Road to Rio,” along with a presentation pack and first-day covers.

Unfortunately, by the second day of the Olympics, New Zealand’s “instant” stamp program had run into a bit of a snag. Team New Zealand won a second silver in women’s rugby on Aug. 8, but as of Aug. 10 the post office had yet to announce a stamp for those medalists. When a follower on the New Zealand Post Facebook page inquired as to why a stamp hadn’t been issued, a post office spokesperson responded that “the approval process was taking a little longer than expected.” So much for instantaneous.

New Zealand Post is following a 16-year tradition of Australia Post. Australia has issued stamps for all of its Olympic gold medalists, in both Summer and Winter Games, since the Sydney Summer Olympics in 2000.

Australia’s first three gold medalist stamps for the Rio 2016 Games were announced Aug. 9.

These $1 stamps, all being sold in panes of 10, commemorate the gold-medal wins in men’s 400 meter freestyle swimming, women’s 4 by 100 meter freestyle relay, and women’s trap shooting.

On Aug. 10, Australia Post announced the stamp for Australia’s gold medal in women’s rugby. The stamp shows the team of 12 players.

The Olympic Games have long been a popular topic among stamp collectors. It is no surprise that Greece issued the first set of stamps to honor the first modern Olympic Games. The games took place in Athens, Greece, in 1896, and the set of 12 was issued that year to commemorate the event.

The United States issued its first stamps honoring the Olympics in 1932. A 2-cent stamp was issued that year for the Winter Olympic Games featuring a skier.

Later that year two stamps were issued for the Summer Olympic Games. The 3-cent stamp shows a runner, and the 5-cent stamp features the sculpture Discus Thrower of Myron.

Many stamps honoring the Olympic Games have been issued through the years. If you are feeling a little sad when the 2016 games draw to a close and the torch is passed to the Tokyo 2020 representatives, turn to your stamps to keep the Olympic torch alive.

For the most up-to-date stamp news, visit and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. For Linn’s Stamp News and Scott catalogs, I’m Donna Houseman. Enjoy your week in stamps.