Australia 2000 Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Australian Gold Medallists

From Stamps of the World

Australia 2000 Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Australian Gold Medallists a.jpg
  • Issue Date: 17 September-1 October 2000
  • Designed by: Beth McKinlay
  • Printed by: FujiXEROX (digital); SNP Ausprint (lithography)
  • Print Process: Digital and lithography
  • Perforations: 14 x 14½
  • Stamp Size: 35 mm x 35 mm
  • Formats: two sheetlets of 10 rouletted between (digital); sheets of 120 (12 sheetlets of 10) (lithography)
  • Withdrawal date: 31 October 2001


Description[edit]

Each time an Australian team or individual won a gold medal a sheetlet of Gold Medallists stamps was released by Australia Post.

Australia 2000 Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Australian Gold Medallists sheet design.jpg
Australia 2000 Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Australian Gold Medallists stamp design.jpg

The Goal[edit]

In 1998 Australia Post’s Philatelic group set itself a significant goal, "to celebrate each gold medal won by an Australian individual or team during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games with a stamp available for sale from 12 noon the day after the medal is won."

The Design[edit]

Developing the Gold Medallists stamps presented many challenges. The design had to be flexible enough to suit individuals as well as teams, the Australian Olympic Team logo, both male and female winners, differing backgrounds and event names, and incorporate an image taken during the event or in victory. A square stamp, produced in sheetlets of ten, provided the required flexibility and style.

The concept, project and basic designs for the sheetlet and stamps were approved by all the relevant organisations, including the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG).

The Template[edit]

The use of a pre-designed template, which appears along the right hand and lower edges of the stamp, reduced the number of variables to be considered and enabled the designers to meet the tight schedule required to achieve the goal of next day availability. The standard elements listed below are identified on the sheetlet and stamp images to the right.

  1. Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Australian Gold Medallists. This is the official name of the issue.
  2. The discipline in which the event is held.
  3. The specific event in which the medal was won.
  4. The winner’s or winners’ names. Team members who participated in the winning event, whether or not they played in the final, are listed on the selvedge.
  5. The imprint identifies both the type of printing used to produce that sheetlet and the print site for that sheetlet.
  6. The denomination
  7. A graphic element that identifies the Australian issues for 2000.
  8. Identifies national origin.
  9. Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Gold Victory Medal.
  10. Australian Olympic Team logo.
  11. Year of issue.

The Process[edit]

When a medal was won, the final stamp and sheetlet had to be designed, and that design approved, before any printing could take place. Australia Post’s designers utilised the online library of Allsport for images of the athlete(s). Their preference was for photographs taken on the podium, with finishing line or action photographs also being considered. Once the designers had selected the image, extraneous background details were removed and the colour corrected as required.

Researchers provided the designers with the correct name of the athlete(s), the relevant discipline and the name of the event. This information was added to the stamp in the area below the photograph. A second, alternative image was also selected. Then both images were transmitted to the AOC for approval. After the image was approved, it was sent via a wide area network to the six FujiXerox print sites, and via a dedicated ISDN line to Melbourne, where the electronic file was converted directly to plate for offset printing. All printing was done on pre-perforated paper stock.

Digital Printing[edit]

Imprints of each printing site

The instant nature of these stamps relied on recent advances in technology. Once printed, sheetlets from the six digital printers were sent to 67 outlets where Gold Medallists stamps were available from 12 noon the day after a gold medal was won. Distinctive imprints for each print site identifies the source of each sheetlet.

Printing Sites[edit]

Offset Lithographic Printing[edit]

This is traditional stamp printing with a high-tech twist. Using the latest printing technology enabled the printer to skip one step in the traditional printing process. Instead of making film from the electronic file, then using the film to make the printing plate, the printer produced the plate directly from the electronic file. Offset stock replaced initial digital stock as the digital stock was sold. All offset printing was done in Victoria, so a single imprint (map of Australia) identifies offset stock.

Distribution[edit]

The whole process took place overnight without a hitch each time an Australian team or individual won a gold medal. At around 8am on the morning following each gold medal win, boxes of digitally printed sheetlets were on their way to selected post offices in every Australian state and territory. That same day, offset sheetlets were shipped from Melbourne for distribution Australia-wide, reaching up to 80% of outlets within 48 hours.

At the conclusion of the Olympic Games, David Maiden, Manager, Philatelic Group, said that beyond the philatelic achievement, “... the Australian Gold Medallists stamps captured the immediacy and enthusiasm of the competition and helped spread the gold medal winners’ pride and excitement throughout Australia”.

Stamps[edit]

Stamps from the digitally printed sheetlets are shinier in appearance. Also, under magnification, the Australian flag, Olympic Rings and inscriptions have blurred outlines, somewhat similar to those found on stamps printed by photogravure. There is a coarse screen, which on areas of color shows as lines.

Lithographed stamps show sharp and clear outlines on the flag, rings and inscription. The screen is very fine and barely visible under 10x magnification. There are no lines visible in the colored areas.

Example of digitally printed inscription
Example of lithographic inscription

45c Ian Thorpe Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 17 September 2000

Ian Thorpe won the gold medal in the men's 400 m freestyle swimming event with a time of 3 minutes 40.59 seconds on 16 September 2000. This was a new world record time for the long course event.

45c Ian Thorpe

45c Men's 4 x 100 m Freestyle Relay Team Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 17 September 2000

The Australian men's team won the gold medal in the 4 x 100 m freestyle relay swimming event with a world record time of 3 minutes 13.67 seconds on 16 September 2000. Team members were Ian Thorpe, Ashley Callus, Chris Fydler, Michael Klim, Todd Pearson, and Adam Pine. Pearson and Pine did not swim in the final so they are not pictured on the stamp but are listed on the sheetlet.

45c Men's 4 x 100 m Freestyle Relay Team

45c Michael Diamond Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 18 September 2000

Michael Diamond won the gold medal in the men's trap shooting event on 17 September 2000. His winning score was 122.

45c Michael Diamond

45c 3 Day Event Equestrian Team[edit]

  • Issue date: 20 September 2000

Team Australia won the gold medal in the team eventing equestrian event on 19 September 2000 with a penalty score of 112.6. Team members were Phillip Dutton, Andrew Hoy, Stuart Tinney, and Matthew Ryan.

45c 3 Day Event Equestrian Team

45c Susie O'Neill Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 20 September 2000

Susie O'Neill won the gold medal in the women's 200 m freestyle swimming event on 19 September 2000. Her winning time was 1 minutes 58.24 seconds.

45c Susie O'Neill

45c Men's 4 x 200 m Freestyle Relay Team Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 20 September 2000

The Australian men's team won the gold medal in the men's 4 x 200 m freestyle relay swimming event with a world record time of 7 minutes 7.05 seconds on 19 September 2000. Team members were Todd Pearson, Ian Thorpe, Bill Kirby, Michael Klim, Grant Hackett, and Daniel Kowalski. Hackett and Kowalski did not swim the final; therefore, they are not pictured on the stamp but are listed on the sheetlet.

45c Men's 4 x 200 m Freestyle Relay Team

45c Simon Fairweather Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 21 September 2000

Simon Fairweather won the gold medal in the men's individual archery event on 20 September 2000. His winning score was 113.

45c Simon Fairweather

45c Brett Aitken & Scott McGrory Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 22 September 2000

Brett Aitken and Scott McGrory won the gold medal in the men's Madison cycling event on 21 September 2000. Their final score was 26 points.

45c Brett Aitken & Scott McGrory

45c Grant Hackett Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 24 September 2000

Grant Hackett won the gold medal in the men's 1500 m freestyle swimming event on 23 September 2000. His winning time was 14 minutes 48.33 seconds.

45c Grant Hackett

45c Women's Water Polo Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 24 September 2000

The Australia women's national water polo team won the gold medal in water polo on 23 September 2000 with a score of 4 to 3 against the United States team. Members of the team were Naomi Castle, Joanne Fox, Bridgette Gusterson, Simone Hankin, Yvette Higgins, Kate Hooper, Bronwyn Mayer, Melissa Mills, Liz Weekes, Danielle Woodhouse, Taryn Woods, Gail Miller, and Debbie Watson.

45c Women's Water Polo

45c Natalie Cook & Kerri Pottharst Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 26 September 2000

Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst won the gold medal in the women's beach volleyball event on 25 September 2000. They won with a score of 2 to 0 over the Brazilian team.

45c Natalie Cook & Kerri Pottharst

45c Cathy Freeman Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 26 September 2000

Cathy Freeman won the gold medal in the women's 400 m track event on 25 September 2000. Her winning time was 49.11 seconds.

45c Cathy Freeman

45c Lauren Burns Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 28 September 2000

Lauren Burns won her gold medal in the women's 49 kg Taekwondo event on 27 September 2000. Her winning score was 4 to 2 over Urbia Melendez competing for Cuba.

45c Lauren Burns

45c Women's (Field) Hockey Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 30 September 2000

The Australia women's national field hockey team won a gold medal in the women's field hockey tournament on 29 September 2000. Their winning score was 3 to 1 over the Argentina women's national field hockey team. Team members were Kate Allen, Jenny Morris, Alyson Annan, Renita Farrell, Juliet Haslam, Rechelle Hawkins, Nikki Hudson, Rachel Imison, Clover Maitland, Claire Mitchell-Taverner, Alison Peek, Katrina Powell, Lisa Powell, Angie Skirving, Kate Starre, and Julie Towers.

45c Women's (Field) Hockey

45c Jenny Armstrong & Belinda Stowell Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 1 October 2000

Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell won a gold medal in the women's 470 sailing event on 30 September 2000. Their final net score was 33.

45c Jenny Armstrong & Belinda Stowell

45c Tom King & Mark Turnbull Stamp[edit]

  • Issue date: 1 October 2000

Tom King and Mark Turnbull won a gold medal in the men's 470 sailing event on 30 September 2000. Their final net score was 38.

45c Tom King & Mark Turnbull

Sheetlet[edit]

  • Issue date: 1 November 2000

A sheetlet containing one of each of the Gold Medalists stamps plus an Opening Ceremony stamp was produced for the Australia Post annual collection. This sheet was only available in the collection.

Miniature sheet of 17 x 45c plus 8 labels

First Day Covers[edit]

Official first day covers were not produced. However, a special "First Day of Issue" postmark was prepared to service covers for collectors. The postmark was available from any of the 67 post offices that sold the stamps. Also, Australia Post in association with the Australian Olympic Committee, produced a limited edition run (2000) of first day covers.

Example first day of issue postmark