Olympic Games 2004

The 28th Olympiad in Athens, the birthplace of the modern Olympics, inspired us to reflect on New Zealand's proud Olympic history. When we remembered our Olympic champions we recalled 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 captured the action of these dramatic moments. With the twist of a wrist these spilt seconds of extraordinary human endeavour were replayed. This innovation bought a new dimension to the medium of stamps in the 21st century.

The Run of Gold Continues

The first day cover featured 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' had performed at previous events.

From the Beginning to the End

Had you ever wondered what it was like for an athlete on the biggest day of their life? The presentation pack told the story of four famous New Zealand champions and the final moments before being immortalised in New Zealand's Olympic history.

The Technology Behind Action Stamps

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

Product Listing for the Olympics Games 2004

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 45c 'John Walker, Montreal 31 July 1976' self-adhesive stamp.

At 300 meters from home 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 came at him from the outside, but Walker lunged at the line with all his strength, flinging his arms in the air...

$0.45
Single Stamp

Single 90c 'Yvette Williams, Helsinki 23 July 1952' self-adhesive stamp.

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…

$0.90
Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Ian Ferguson & Paul MacDonald, Seoul 30 September 1988' self-adhesive stamp.

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...

$1.50
Single Stamp

Single $2.00 'Peter Snell, Rome 2 September 1960' self-adhesive stamp.

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…

$2.00
First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $5.35
Presentation Pack Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products from the issue and further information on the theme of the stamps. $14.95

Technical information

Date of issue: 2 August 2004
Number of stamps: Four
Denominations and designs: $45c John Walker - Montreal 1976, 90c Yvette Williams - Helsinki 1952, $1.50 Ian Fergusson and Paul MacDonald - Seoul 1988, $2.00 Peter Snell - Rome 1960
Stamps designed by: Saatchi & Saatchi, Wellington
Printer and process: Xtreme Graphics, USA by lenticular process
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 45mm x 30mm (horizontal)
Paper type: Self-adhesive labels
Number of stamps per sheet: 16
Perforation gauge: Diecut
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 1 August 2005.