Thematic/Topical Olympic Collecting
You may be in a dilemma if you enjoy both the Olympic Winter Games as well as the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but still wish to place limits on what you collect. Here is where you can let your imagination run wild. Try developing an Olympic collection based on a theme or topic so that the image on the stamp takes precedence over the reason for its issuance. Some possibilities include:
Olympic Medalists: The Olympic Games are really all about the athletes, so why not form a collection around the medalists?
The Dominican Republic was the first country to portray actual Olympic medalists on sets of stamps that they issued following the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
In 2000, at Australia’s second Olympic Games hosted by Sydney, a new type of Olympic medalist stamp was introduced. With the advent of digital media and on-demand printing, it was possible to issue stamps picturing the gold medalist the day after the event!
Since then, other nations have caught on to this popular philatelic souvenir which disappears quickly as visitors and collectors snap them up.
Olympic Sports-related: Olympic collectors, more often than not, tend to be big sports fans as well. There are currently 29 official summer sports and 15 winter ones, and if you are a fan of any of them, or have ever taken part in one of the sports yourself, then you have an ideal theme for a collection.
Olympic Torch Relay: A distinctly Olympic theme is the torch relay. This can be a fascinating area for a specialized collection that reaches back in time to the Berlin Games of 1936. Using stamps and postmarks, one can trace that very first torch relay from Athens through the Balkans and central Europe all the way to Berlin. These days the Olympic Torch Relay has become a global event with postmarks commemorating important stops along the way.
Or your Olympic collection could be…
Occupation-driven: If, in your professional life, you are an architect, then collect Olympic Architecture which might include stamps portraying the sports venues and the architects and engineers who were involved in their design and construction. Or perhaps you are part of the medical profession? With a little research, you can uncover stamps of athletes competing with physical limitations, have been injured in competition, or who have run afoul of doping regulations.
Perhaps you enjoy a more traditional approach to Olympic collecting. In that case you might try defining your collection chronologically by one or more Olympic Games.