The Royal Mail in the UK has announced that it will be issuing postage stamps featuring all athletes who win gold for Team GB at the Paralympic Games. Postage stamps commemorating the success of gold medallists in the Olympic Games have been a massive hit, but there hadn’t been any plan to do the same for the Paralympic Games. This didn’t go down too well with the great British public, so the Royal Mail has taken another look at the idea and decided that issuing stamps for Paralympic gold medallists is the way to go.
I applaud this decision, but I don’t like the fact that it wasn’t the plan from the very beginning. The Paralympic Games aren’t in any way inferior to the Olympic Games, so having one rule for the Olympics and a different one for the Paralympics makes absolutely no sense to me.
Tickets for the Paralympic Games have been selling like hot cakes, and the Games themselves will get plenty of media coverage in the UK via the BBC. Some members of the public might not be interested in watching or hearing about the events simply because they have heard the word ‘Olympics’ once too often over the past few weeks, but it is encouraging to note that the majority of Olympics fans are just as keen to keep up with developments in the Paralympics.
Getting back to those postage stamps, I don’t know much about stamp collecting but I would expect that a nice collection of stamps featuring gold medallists could be quite valuable one day. Okay, so nobody is going to get rich with a couple of first class stamps that have been stored in their wallet for a few years, but if the entire library of stamps were purchased in presentation packets and unopened, it wouldn’t surprise me if that collection increased in value over time. After all, the UK is unlikely to host an Olympic Games or Paralympic Games for quite a few decades, so the postage stamps issued this year will eventually be hard to come by.
Even if the stamps don’t increase in financial value, they are certainly useful as souvenirs, so if you live in the UK and you haven’t already started collecting, now might be a good time to do so. Then, when the Paralympic Games begin – and there are just 13 days to go – you can add to your collection without skipping a beat.