Olympic Games

The 28th Olympiad in Athens, the birthplace of the modern Olympics, inspires us to reflect on New Zealand's proud Olympic history. When we remember our Olympic champions we often recall the moments, or the split seconds, that they gritted their teeth, and rose to the superhuman task of becoming an Olympic champion.

Issue information

In the spirit of these world beating achievements we created the world's first 'Action Replay' stamps. Four stamps that capture the action of these dramatic moments. With the twist of a wrist these spilt seconds of extraordinary human endeavour can be replayed. This innovation brings a new dimension to the medium of stamps in the 21st century.

John Walker, Montreal 31 July 1976 - 45c
At 300 meters from home and the American Rick Wohlhuter loomed dangerously on Walker's outside shoulder. He couldn't wait any later. He had to go. Walker took off. With 300 metres to go he burst into the lead. The Belgian Ivo Vandamme come at him from the outside, but Walker lunged at the line with all his strength, flinging his arms in the air…

Yvette Williams, Helsinki 23 July 1952 - 90c
Time came for her fourth jump of the day. She was tired after the long cold waits between each jump. The Olympic record had been broken eight times already. She stepped up to her mark. Knowing this was it. Her event. Her moment. She took off from her mark, sprinting at the pit like never before…

Ian Ferguson & Paul MacDonald, Seoul 30 September 1988 - $1.50
East Germany, Poland and Hungary closed in. All were capable of winning but it was the final burst of the Russians that was the real heart stopper. The Soviets attacked. But the Kiwis countered, calling on all their strength and experience....Russia, New Zealand....New Zealand, Russia...

Peter Snell, Rome 2 September 1960 - $2.00
At the 100 metre mark Snell's plan was to make the move. Snell didn't have it in him. Moens had the lead. Moens kept looking over his shoulder to his right. He didn't see Snell coming at him fast on the inside. Snell was strong. With 10 metres to go he closed his eyes and gave it his all. He threw his whole body forward, and…

The run of gold continues
The first day cover features the four stamps surrounded by all previous New Zealand Olympic gold Medal winning events. All of this reminding us just how well 'little ole New Zealand' has performed at previous events.

The technology behind action stamps
The effect of movement is created through a special printing process called Lenticular. This effect is achieved by two or more images being printed together, or 'inter-laced', into each other. These are printed around the wrong way on the back of a special lens material. Due to the optics in the lens, your eye is forced to see only a very small area of the lens at a certain angle. So, when you tilt the stamp, the images in the stamp appear to move. 

Strip of Four Stamps

First Day Cover

Technical information

Date of Issue: 2 August 2004
Stamp Designer: Saatchi & Saatchi, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer: Xtreme Graphics, USA
Stamp Size: 45mm x 30mm
Sheet Size: 16 stamps and strip of four
Perforation: Die cut
Period of Sale: Unless stocks are exhausted earlier, these stamps and first day cover will remain on sale until close of business 1 August 2005