Royal Mail offered to do a commemorative stamp for every TeamGB gold medallist, and to paint a pillar box in their home town gold.
So far – there are five days of the Olympics left to run – TeamGB has 22 gold medals. According to BBC Sport:
Great Britain have also bettered their overall Beijing medal haul of 47 following high jumper Robbie Grabarz’s bronze – Team GB’s 48th of the Games. They also look certain to add to that tally in the coming days – UK Sport had set a target of a minimum 48 medals at London 2012.
That is gold, silver, and bronze medals (as of today, TeamGB had already won that many) – not a target for gold medals alone.
Royal Mail will paint a red pillar box gold in every Paralympic gold medallist’s home town. But it will not issue a next day stamp in honour of every Paralympian.
This is not the exactly the same as Team GB where each gold medal winning performance is commemorated by a stamp but this is for a very good reason. In Beijing, ParalympicsGB won 42 gold medals over 10 days of competition and we are expecting a similarly world-class level of performance from our athletes this time around. As a result, it is logistically and practically impossible for Royal Mail to produce an individual stamp for every one of the gold medallists for ParalympicsGB.
So, 22 gold medals over 11 days – 5 of them on one day – isn’t “practically impossible” for individual stamps. 42 gold medals over 10 days is. Apparently.
Instead, Royal Mail will issue:
The set of six first class stamps will each display a group of British Paralympic gold medallists from this year’s Paralympic Games.
Royal Mail has also donated £200,000 to the British Paralympics Association which will be shared equally among all ParalympicGB gold medal winners.
TeamGB for the Paralympics won’t get the same treatment as TeamGB for the Olympics, because the TeamGB for the Paralympics is just better?
Sorry. I still don’t see how that’s fair.
— EdinburghEye (@EyeEdinburgh) August 7, 2012
Update, 15th August
Cheers for the Royal Mail: they are
now planning individual gold medal first class stamps for each ParalympicsGB individual or team gold medal winner after all, as it was “the right thing to do.”
The only difference will be that while the stamps produced to honour the Team GB gold medallists were on sale the next day, the Paralympic ones will be available within five working days of each gold medal victory.
They will be sold individually or on a sheet of two, with additional information on the winning athlete or athletes included.
It will be the first time that a set of stamps has been issued to celebrate Paralympic gold medallists from the host country and Royal Mail admitted it would be a “huge logistical challenge.”
But it is the right thing to do, and I’m so glad that Royal Mail have agreed to meet the challenge.