Stamps of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics


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18 December 2013
imports_CCGB_sochiwinterolympics201_70151.jpg Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 - ski jump stamp
Olympics stamps expert Bob Farley provides a guide to the stamps issued so far for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi ...
Olympics stamps expert Bob Farley provides a guide to the stamps issued so far for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi

Sochi was awarded the status of host city for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games at the 119th IOC Session in Guatemala on the 4 July, 2007, in preference to PyeongChang, South Korea, and Salzburg, Austria.

Sochi achieved its Olympic aspirations at the second attempt having previously submitted an application to host the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

On March 15, 2011 a ceremony attended by dignitaries representing, Sochi 2014, Federal agencies, Russia Post and the city of Sochi announced the philatelic programme. 4 miniature sheets, 45 stamps, maxi-cards and postcards were envisaged. The declared themes of the Sochi 2014 postage products were winter sports, Olympic sports venues and views of Krasnodar Region (tourism in the Olympic region).

Looking back to the postal material for the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games, it was also reasonable to assume that a number of postal stationery items would be issued, and that the announced postcards would be stationery items.

The sale of a miniature sheet marked the start of the philatelic programme.

Stamp details
March 15, 2011
Sochi - the capital of the XXII Olympic Winter Games 2014.
An official emblem of the XXII Olympic Winter Games against a background of snow-covered mountains of Krasnaya Polyana and stylized Torch with ribbons of Olympic colours.

In September and October 2011 stamp issues for two of the declared themes:
“XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Olympic Winter Sports” and 
“XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Tourism on the Black Sea Coast of Russia” commenced, and was expanded in 2012 and 2013:

Stamp details
XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Tourism on the Black Sea Coast of Russia
September 27, 2011 - issue 1, (format A). 
Ski resort, Marine terminal, Watchtower, Monolithic dolmen.
October 21, 2011 – issue 1, (format B).
April 27, 2012 – issue 2, (formats A & B)
Sail rock, Railway station, Arboretum, Grehovsky waterfall.

Each of the tourism stamps has a se-tenant label with descriptive text. The labels exist in six languages: Russian, English, French, German, Spanish and Chinese. At the time of their launch they were introduced as ‘the most multilingual stamps in the history of the Olympic Winter Games’.

Stamp details
September 27, 2011 set of six sheets.
4 stamps (one of each design);
4 labels - all in the same language.

October 21, 2011 set of four sheets.
6 stamps (common design);
6 labels - each in a different language.

XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Olympic Winter Sports
October 3, 2011 - issue 1.
Short track speed skating, Ski jump, Cross country skiing.
October 19, 2012 - issue 2.
Alpine skiing, Luge, Skeleton, Speed skating, Snowboarding, Freestyle skiing. 
June 29, 2013 - issue 3.
Bobsleigh, Nordic combined, Figure skating.

Each stamp design of the Olympic Winter Sports series is printed in sheets of eight stamps with a central stamp sized label of common design (3 x 3) with text to margins.  {1x 031011 Sport sheet format image file}

The Sochi 2014 Mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic Games were chosen by a nationwide vote on the Channel One Russia TV station. More than 1.4 million people took part in the vote.

The Hare, the Polar Bear and the Leopard were chosen as the official Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games mascots and the Ray of Light and the Snowflake were chosen as the official Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games mascots. One year after their selection, ‘to celebrate their birthday’, the mascots appeared on two miniature sheets.

Stamp details
February 27, 2012
XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Olympic Mascots. 

February 27, 2012
XI Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. Paralympic Mascots.

In addition to the traditional marques associated with each Olympic and Olympic Winter Games – an emblem / logo, and mascot(s), Sochi has made extensive use of a QR (Quick Response) code, and this was used as the design for a stamp.

Stamp details
September 18, 2012
Olympic Winter Games 2014 in Sochi with QR-code

The Olympic flame arrived in Moscow on October 7th, and heralded the start of the domestic torch relay. Special cancellations will mark the passage of the torch through all of the regions of Russia.

Stamp details
October 7, 2013
Torch Relay of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

The 2014 programme announced by Russia Post includes:

24.01.2014  Winter Olympic Sports.  A sheet of 15 stamps plus one label.
24.01.2014  Winter Olympic Sports.  A booklet of 15 stamps.
07.02.2014  Winter Olympic Games.  Souvenir sheet.
07.03.2014  Paralympic Winter Games.  Souvenir sheet.
Many of the Russian stamp issues have been supplemented by postal stationery items, envelopes or postcards. In excess of sixty items have been issued prior to November 2013.

Stamp issues are expected from nations participating in the XXII Olympic Winter Games but all issues prior to November 2013 have been thematic issues from African nations.

Discover the history of Winter Olympics stamps in the February 2014 issue of Stamp & Coin Mart...


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