1991 29c Summer Olympics: Hurdles

# 2557 - 1991 29c Summer Olympics: Hurdles

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US #2557
1991 Women’s Hurdles

  • Part of set of 5 featuring Track and Field events
  • Commemorates 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain
  • First US stamps designed on a personal computer

Category of Stamp:  Commemorative
Set:
1992 Summer Olympics
Value: 
29¢, First Class Mail rate
First Day of Issue: 
July 12, 1991
First Day City: 
Los Angeles, California
Quantity Issued: 
34,005,120
Printed by: 
American Bank Note Company
Printing Method:
Photogravure
Format: 
Panes of 40 (5 across, 8 down)
Perforations: 
11

Reason the stamp was issued:  The Track and Field stamps were issued in anticipation of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games held in Barcelona, Spain.  The US Postal Service was an official sponsor of the games.

About the stamp design:  The stamps picture five different track and field events that take place during the Olympics.  These include pole vault, javelin throw, sprint race, hurdle race, and discus throw.  They don’t feature specific athletes.  The Summer Olympic stamps are the first US stamps designed on a personal computer.  Joni Carter was the artist behind these stamps.  She programed videos of athletes into her computer and used individual frames as the basis for her paintings.  This was advanced technology at the time.  The background colors reflect the five colors of the Olympic rings.

Special design details:  Carter was able to make changes to her designs far more easily than changing a traditional painting.  The Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee asked her to change the sex of some of the athletes and add small details such as stripes on athletes’ jerseys.

First Day City:  The First Day of Issue ceremony took place during the Olympic Festival in Los Angeles at the stadium of the University of California.  Past Olympians spoke during the ceremony.

About the 1992 Summer Olympic Set:  The 1992 Summer Olympics were held in Barcelona, Spain, from July 31 to August 9.  There were 43 track and field events.  The US took home the most medals and the most gold medals.

History the stamp represents: Hurdling combines running and jumping skills.  Athletes must jump over hurdles placed at specific distances from one another.  In the 1800s, hurdlers landed on both feet after jumping a hurdle, stopping their forward progress.  Over time, a new technique was developed with athletes landing on only one foot at a time without slowing down.

Men competed in the 110-meter hurdles at the first modern Olympics in 1896.  Four years later, the distance was increased to 200 meters.  Women began competing in hurdling in the 1932 Olympics, with an 80-meter race.  That was lengthened to 100 meters in 1972.  Today, women compete in 100- and 400-meter hurdles, while the men’s races consist of 200- and 400-meters.  In the 1992 Olympic Games, Voula Patoulidou from Greece won the women’s 100-meter hurdles, while Great Britain’s Sally Gunnell took home the gold in the 400-meter hurdle race.  For the men, Canada’s Mark McKoy won gold in the 110-meter race, and America’s Kevin Young came in first in the 400-meter hurdles.

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US #2557
1991 Women’s Hurdles

  • Part of set of 5 featuring Track and Field events
  • Commemorates 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain
  • First US stamps designed on a personal computer

Category of Stamp:  Commemorative
Set:
1992 Summer Olympics
Value: 
29¢, First Class Mail rate
First Day of Issue: 
July 12, 1991
First Day City: 
Los Angeles, California
Quantity Issued: 
34,005,120
Printed by: 
American Bank Note Company
Printing Method:
Photogravure
Format: 
Panes of 40 (5 across, 8 down)
Perforations: 
11

Reason the stamp was issued:  The Track and Field stamps were issued in anticipation of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games held in Barcelona, Spain.  The US Postal Service was an official sponsor of the games.

About the stamp design:  The stamps picture five different track and field events that take place during the Olympics.  These include pole vault, javelin throw, sprint race, hurdle race, and discus throw.  They don’t feature specific athletes.  The Summer Olympic stamps are the first US stamps designed on a personal computer.  Joni Carter was the artist behind these stamps.  She programed videos of athletes into her computer and used individual frames as the basis for her paintings.  This was advanced technology at the time.  The background colors reflect the five colors of the Olympic rings.

Special design details:  Carter was able to make changes to her designs far more easily than changing a traditional painting.  The Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee asked her to change the sex of some of the athletes and add small details such as stripes on athletes’ jerseys.

First Day City:  The First Day of Issue ceremony took place during the Olympic Festival in Los Angeles at the stadium of the University of California.  Past Olympians spoke during the ceremony.

About the 1992 Summer Olympic Set:  The 1992 Summer Olympics were held in Barcelona, Spain, from July 31 to August 9.  There were 43 track and field events.  The US took home the most medals and the most gold medals.

History the stamp represents: Hurdling combines running and jumping skills.  Athletes must jump over hurdles placed at specific distances from one another.  In the 1800s, hurdlers landed on both feet after jumping a hurdle, stopping their forward progress.  Over time, a new technique was developed with athletes landing on only one foot at a time without slowing down.

Men competed in the 110-meter hurdles at the first modern Olympics in 1896.  Four years later, the distance was increased to 200 meters.  Women began competing in hurdling in the 1932 Olympics, with an 80-meter race.  That was lengthened to 100 meters in 1972.  Today, women compete in 100- and 400-meter hurdles, while the men’s races consist of 200- and 400-meters.  In the 1992 Olympic Games, Voula Patoulidou from Greece won the women’s 100-meter hurdles, while Great Britain’s Sally Gunnell took home the gold in the 400-meter hurdle race.  For the men, Canada’s Mark McKoy won gold in the 110-meter race, and America’s Kevin Young came in first in the 400-meter hurdles.