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Stamps to mark London 2012 GB wins

Royal Mail is to issue stamps recognising the achievement of every British gold medal at this summer's London Olympics.

The design will feature, wherever possible, photographs of the Team GB athlete or team in action from their final. Where this is not possible, the image will be from another moment on the athlete's gold medal-winning journey - a heat or the presentation of the medal on the podium.

This will be the first time any host country has used action shots for gold medal stamps and issued them immediately during the Games, a Royal Mail spokeswoman said.

The stamps will be on sale by lunchtime the next day at 500 selected Post Offices across the UK and will then be distributed three times during the Games to a further 4,500 Post Offices operating as normal across the UK. This is the first time Royal Mail has ever issued next-day stamps.

At the Beijing 2008 Games, Team GB won 19 gold medals.

Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene said: "Royal Mail is proud to be involved in this once-in-a-lifetime event and to recognise the success of Team GB.

"Our gold medal stamps will be unique souvenirs of the Games, marking the great achievements of our talented athletes. They will be a special way for people across the country to celebrate Team GB's gold medal wins and help mark their amazing achievement."

The initiative means that picture editors, graphic designers, printers and drivers will swing into action, working around the clock to meet the challenge of getting the stamps on sale by lunchtime the next day, even if the medal win is late the previous evening.

Although this is the first time Royal Mail has issued stamps to mark Olympic victories, the company issued its first Olympic Games stamps in 1948, with four stamps bearing the five Olympic rings. Olympic stamps were not issued to mark the 1908 London Games as Royal Mail stamps then bore images of the reigning monarch only.

The new stamp is launched by Sally Gunnell, gold medallist in the 400m hurdles in Barcelona in 1992.

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