1992 29c Summer Olympics

# 2637-41 - 1992 29c Summer Olympics

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US#2637-41
1992 Summer Olympics

  • Issued to commemorate the 25th Olympiad, held in Barcelona, Spain
  • Pictures Five Summer Olympic sports
  • Fourth and final set issued by US Postal Service in its role as official sponsor of 1992 Olympics.

Category of Stamp:  Commemorative
Value: 
29¢, First-Class Mail rate
First Day of Issue:  June 11, 1992
First Day City: 
Baltimore, Maryland
Quantity Issued: 
32,000,000 sets
Printed by: 
Stamp Venturers
Printing Method/Format: 
Photogravure
Perforations:  10.9

Reason the stamps were issued:  The Olympic Summer Games set of five stamps was issued in honor of the 25th Olympiad, which was held in Barcelona, Spain, from July 25 to August 9, 1992.

About the stamp design:  The artwork on the Summer Olympic stamps was created by first-time stamp artist Richard Waldrep.  The realistic portrayal of Olympic athletes captures the individual movement of each sport.  A semi-jumbo commemorative format was used for these stamps.

Special design details:  Designing stamps to commemorate the Olympics is difficult because living people cannot be featured on US stamps, including Olympic athletes.  In previous stamps, the designs were highly stylized to avoid this.  The 1992 stamp pictures more realistic images of athletes, but the faces are cut off or blurred and the uniforms have no numbers, so they could not be associated with a specific athlete.

First Day City:  Though there was no official First Day of Issue ceremony, these stamps were available for sale at the US Gymnastics championships in Baltimore, Maryland.

About the Set: In 1989, the US Postal Service agreed to be a worldwide sponsor for the 1992 Winter and Summer Games.  In exchange for a sponsorship fee, the USPS was given permission to use the Olympic rings in promotions.  This was the fourth and final set of five issued by the USPS in its role as sponsor.

History these stamps represent: The 1992 Olympics were the first Summer Games after the fall of the Soviet Union.  The former Soviet bloc nations competed together for the last time as the Unified Team.  These athletes took home the most medals (112), with America coming in second with 108 medals.

Opening of 1992 Summer Olympics

1991 29¢ Flag with Olympic Rings
US #2528 was the first US definitive stamp to picture the Olympic logo.

On July 25, 1992, the opening ceremonies marked the start of the Games of the XXV Olympiad in Barcelona, Spain. These games included many firsts, lasts, and records.

This year 1992 was the last year the Summer and Winter Olympics occurred in the same year. After that, the winter games were held two years after the summer event.  This Olympics also marked the first time since 1972 that no nations boycotted the games for political reasons.

1991 29¢ Flag with Olympic Rings Colorano Silk Cachet First Day Cover
US #2528 Colorano Silk Cachet First Day Cover

The games officially began on July 25, 1992.  During the festive ceremonies, Greek singer Agnes Baltsa sang "Romiossini" and Alfredo Kraus sang the Olympic Hymn.  Paralympic archer Antonio Rebollo lit the Olympic flame cauldron with a flaming arrow.  Aiming over the cauldron, the arrow ignited the gas emanating from cauldron and landed safely outside the stadium.  Freddie Mercury, frontman of the band Queen, wrote one of the main musical themes for the games, "Barcelona," though he died eight months before the games.

1990 25¢ Olympians
US #2496-2500 The USPS issued these stamps in 1990 to promote the 1992 games and honor past gold medal winners.

In all, 169 national teams participated in the 1992 Summer Olympics with a total of 9,356 athletes (6,652 men and 2,704 women). These were the first Olympics since the fall of the Soviet Union and reunification of Germany. Germany competed as a single team for the first time in 32 years.  While the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania competed as their own teams for the first time since 1936, the 12 other former Soviet nations competed as part of the Unified Team. The Unified Team won the most gold and silver medals at 45 and 38 respectively, and the most overall at 112.  The United States was close behind with 108 overall.  This year also marked the first time South Africa was allowed to compete since 1960, when the country was banned because of apartheid.

1990 25¢ Olympians Classic First Day Cover
US #2496-2500 Classic First Day Cover

One of the major highlights of the games was America's "Dream Team" of gold-medal winning basketball players.  It was the first time NBA players were allowed to compete, and stars like Michael Jordan and Larry Bird shone on the courts.  Among the personal successes were the six gold medals (four in one day) won by Vitaly Scherbo in men's gymnastics.  Scherbo, from Belarus and competing for the Russian Unified Team, won five golds in individual events, and one for the team event.

1991 29¢ Summer Olympics
US #2553-57 Issued in 1991 to promote the Barcelona games, these were the first US stamps designed entirely on a computer.

Also, 13-year-old Fu Mingxia of China won the gold medal in the high dive, making her one of the youngest Olympic gold medalists in history. In 1991, she had won the gold in the same event at the World Swimming Championships, at age 12, making her the youngest person to ever win a world title in any sport. Fu went on to win gold medals in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, as well.  Also in the pool, 14-year-old Japanese athlete Kyoko Iwasaki became the youngest swimmer to win gold when she won the 200 meter breaststroke.

1991 29¢ Summer Olympics Classic First Day Cover
US #2553-57 Classic First Day Cover

American runner Evelyn Ashford became one of just six female athletes to win four Olympic gold medals in track and field.  Fermín Cacho was the host country's hero, winning their first-ever gold medal in a running event for the 1,500 meter race.

 1992 29¢ Summer Olympics
US #2637-41 were issued in June 1992 to promote the games.

The games consisted of 286 events in 32 sports, with several sports making their debuts. Baseball became an official Olympic sport in 1992, after being demonstrated in six prior Olympics.  Badminton and women's judo were added to the competition and slalom canoeing was added to the games after a 20-year absence.  In addition, roller hockey, Basque pelota, and taekwondo were added as demonstration sports.

1992 29¢ Summer Olympics Fleetwood Plate Block First Day Cover
US #2637-41 Fleetwood Plate Block First Day Cover

The games officially closed on August 9, 1992.  The Olympics had a positive overall effect on Barcelona, bringing in billions of dollars of infrastructure improvements. They also brought international focus to the city, which became one of the most visited in Europe after Paris, London, and Rome.

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US#2637-41
1992 Summer Olympics

  • Issued to commemorate the 25th Olympiad, held in Barcelona, Spain
  • Pictures Five Summer Olympic sports
  • Fourth and final set issued by US Postal Service in its role as official sponsor of 1992 Olympics.

Category of Stamp:  Commemorative
Value: 
29¢, First-Class Mail rate
First Day of Issue:  June 11, 1992
First Day City: 
Baltimore, Maryland
Quantity Issued: 
32,000,000 sets
Printed by: 
Stamp Venturers
Printing Method/Format: 
Photogravure
Perforations:  10.9

Reason the stamps were issued:  The Olympic Summer Games set of five stamps was issued in honor of the 25th Olympiad, which was held in Barcelona, Spain, from July 25 to August 9, 1992.

About the stamp design:  The artwork on the Summer Olympic stamps was created by first-time stamp artist Richard Waldrep.  The realistic portrayal of Olympic athletes captures the individual movement of each sport.  A semi-jumbo commemorative format was used for these stamps.

Special design details:  Designing stamps to commemorate the Olympics is difficult because living people cannot be featured on US stamps, including Olympic athletes.  In previous stamps, the designs were highly stylized to avoid this.  The 1992 stamp pictures more realistic images of athletes, but the faces are cut off or blurred and the uniforms have no numbers, so they could not be associated with a specific athlete.

First Day City:  Though there was no official First Day of Issue ceremony, these stamps were available for sale at the US Gymnastics championships in Baltimore, Maryland.

About the Set: In 1989, the US Postal Service agreed to be a worldwide sponsor for the 1992 Winter and Summer Games.  In exchange for a sponsorship fee, the USPS was given permission to use the Olympic rings in promotions.  This was the fourth and final set of five issued by the USPS in its role as sponsor.

History these stamps represent: The 1992 Olympics were the first Summer Games after the fall of the Soviet Union.  The former Soviet bloc nations competed together for the last time as the Unified Team.  These athletes took home the most medals (112), with America coming in second with 108 medals.

Opening of 1992 Summer Olympics

1991 29¢ Flag with Olympic Rings
US #2528 was the first US definitive stamp to picture the Olympic logo.

On July 25, 1992, the opening ceremonies marked the start of the Games of the XXV Olympiad in Barcelona, Spain. These games included many firsts, lasts, and records.

This year 1992 was the last year the Summer and Winter Olympics occurred in the same year. After that, the winter games were held two years after the summer event.  This Olympics also marked the first time since 1972 that no nations boycotted the games for political reasons.

1991 29¢ Flag with Olympic Rings Colorano Silk Cachet First Day Cover
US #2528 Colorano Silk Cachet First Day Cover

The games officially began on July 25, 1992.  During the festive ceremonies, Greek singer Agnes Baltsa sang "Romiossini" and Alfredo Kraus sang the Olympic Hymn.  Paralympic archer Antonio Rebollo lit the Olympic flame cauldron with a flaming arrow.  Aiming over the cauldron, the arrow ignited the gas emanating from cauldron and landed safely outside the stadium.  Freddie Mercury, frontman of the band Queen, wrote one of the main musical themes for the games, "Barcelona," though he died eight months before the games.

1990 25¢ Olympians
US #2496-2500 The USPS issued these stamps in 1990 to promote the 1992 games and honor past gold medal winners.

In all, 169 national teams participated in the 1992 Summer Olympics with a total of 9,356 athletes (6,652 men and 2,704 women). These were the first Olympics since the fall of the Soviet Union and reunification of Germany. Germany competed as a single team for the first time in 32 years.  While the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania competed as their own teams for the first time since 1936, the 12 other former Soviet nations competed as part of the Unified Team. The Unified Team won the most gold and silver medals at 45 and 38 respectively, and the most overall at 112.  The United States was close behind with 108 overall.  This year also marked the first time South Africa was allowed to compete since 1960, when the country was banned because of apartheid.

1990 25¢ Olympians Classic First Day Cover
US #2496-2500 Classic First Day Cover

One of the major highlights of the games was America's "Dream Team" of gold-medal winning basketball players.  It was the first time NBA players were allowed to compete, and stars like Michael Jordan and Larry Bird shone on the courts.  Among the personal successes were the six gold medals (four in one day) won by Vitaly Scherbo in men's gymnastics.  Scherbo, from Belarus and competing for the Russian Unified Team, won five golds in individual events, and one for the team event.

1991 29¢ Summer Olympics
US #2553-57 Issued in 1991 to promote the Barcelona games, these were the first US stamps designed entirely on a computer.

Also, 13-year-old Fu Mingxia of China won the gold medal in the high dive, making her one of the youngest Olympic gold medalists in history. In 1991, she had won the gold in the same event at the World Swimming Championships, at age 12, making her the youngest person to ever win a world title in any sport. Fu went on to win gold medals in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, as well.  Also in the pool, 14-year-old Japanese athlete Kyoko Iwasaki became the youngest swimmer to win gold when she won the 200 meter breaststroke.

1991 29¢ Summer Olympics Classic First Day Cover
US #2553-57 Classic First Day Cover

American runner Evelyn Ashford became one of just six female athletes to win four Olympic gold medals in track and field.  Fermín Cacho was the host country's hero, winning their first-ever gold medal in a running event for the 1,500 meter race.

 1992 29¢ Summer Olympics
US #2637-41 were issued in June 1992 to promote the games.

The games consisted of 286 events in 32 sports, with several sports making their debuts. Baseball became an official Olympic sport in 1992, after being demonstrated in six prior Olympics.  Badminton and women's judo were added to the competition and slalom canoeing was added to the games after a 20-year absence.  In addition, roller hockey, Basque pelota, and taekwondo were added as demonstration sports.

1992 29¢ Summer Olympics Fleetwood Plate Block First Day Cover
US #2637-41 Fleetwood Plate Block First Day Cover

The games officially closed on August 9, 1992.  The Olympics had a positive overall effect on Barcelona, bringing in billions of dollars of infrastructure improvements. They also brought international focus to the city, which became one of the most visited in Europe after Paris, London, and Rome.