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3 March 2005
 
Olympic Stamps
 
During the Olympic games in Athens, Australian postal workers issued stamps of the gold medallists within 48 hours of them winning.


MICK BUNWORTH: It's a sight that staff at the Gunnedah Post Office have become used to in the past week -- Nita Snape and her daughters, Glynnis and Lynette Toubou, marching determinedly across the road towards them.

GLYNISS TABOU: Hello Kev, how we going for the stamps?

NITA SNAPE, SARA CARRIGAN'S GRANDMOTHER: Could I have 20, please? Twenty stamps please.

KEVIN MILLER, GUNNEDAH POST OFFICE: We've got a bit of a problem about the stamps -- we've run out.

LYNETTE TOUBOU: What are we going to do without stamps of Sara?

MICK BUNWORTH: Sara is Australia's gold-medal-winning road cyclist, Sara Carrigan.

Her aunties and grandmother have been quick to make the most of the honour Australia Post bestows on all our gold medallists -- their very own stamp.

AMBER MCDOUGALL, MANAGER, AUSTRALIA POST PHILATELIC: Australia Post is one of the few post offices in the world that puts living people on stamps.

Of course we have the Queen and we have our living legends for Australia Day and then we have our gold medallists.

SARA CARRIGAN, OLYMPIC CYCLING GOLD MEDALLIST: I actually got to see it yesterday and I was told that my Nanna went down to the local post office in Gunnedah and bought them out.

MICK BUNWORTH: So how many did your Nanna buy?

SARA CARRIGAN: I think there was too many to count.

MICK BUNWORTH: But the effort to get the gold medallists' stamps into post offices around Australia within 48 hours of the presentation ceremony requires an effort almost as magical as that of the athletes themselves.

JANET BOSCHEN, OLYMPIC STAMP PROJECT MANAGER: The time difference between Athens and Melbourne is very different, like, they're seven hours behind us, so we've sort of lost seven hours to start with and so there's pressure there.

We're finding that medals are being won over there about 11 o'clock at night, so we're all getting out of bed at 3:00 in the morning.

MICK BUNWORTH: The team of researchers and graphic designers work through the night, shaping and reshaping the design.

MICK BUNWORTH: Gold-medal-winning trap shooter Suzy Balogh received her honour with a philatelist's enthusiasm.

SUZY BALOGH, OLYMPIC SHOOTING GOLD MEDALLIST: I've been collecting stamps, not so much these years, but I do collect them at work, and I've been doing it since I was about eight.

Started by Mum just giving me a stamp album.

MICK BUNWORTH: Poster-sized versions of the stamps are currently on display in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.


story notes

 used to
 
Here used to means accustomed to. Follow the link to find out how else to use the expression used to.
 
more information: used to

 run out
 
If you run out of something you have no more left.
 
Example: We've run out of coffee.
 
For more meanings of the phrasal verb run out follow the link.
 
more information: run out

 Australia Post
 
Australia Post is the official name of Australia's postal service. A postal service is an organisation that delivers mail, or letters and parcels.
 

 post offices
 
A post office is a place where stamps are sold and from where letters and parcels are sent.
 

 living legends
 
Living legends are people who are still alive, who have done great things in their life.

  Australia Day
 
A national public holiday held on January 26 celebrating the beginning of European settlement.

 gold medallists
 
Gold medallists are people who have won gold medals at the Olympic Games.
 

 got
 
The past tense of the irregular verb get
 
more information: get

 told
 
The past participle of the irregular verb tell
 
more information: tell

 went
 
The past tense of the irregular verb go
 
more information: go

 bought them out
 
bought all of the stamps
 
Bought is the past tense of the irregular verb buy.
 
more information: buy

 did your Nanna buy?
 
Notice that when asking questions about things in the past, we use did and the basic form of the verb, in this case buy. So we say:
 
Example: What did your Nana buy?
 
And not
 
Example: What did your Nana bought?

 effort
 
Effort is the physical or mental energy you need to do something, or how hard you hard have to work at something.
 
Example: It takes a lot of effort to make English Bites.

 48 hours
 
two days

 presentation ceremony
 
A presentation ceremony is an occasion when medals are given to the winning athletes.
 

 magical
 
Here, magical is used to mean fantastic or extremely good.

 won
 
The past participle of the irregular verb win.
 
more information: win

 researchers
 
A researcher is a person who finds information.

 graphic designers
 
A graphic designer is a person who designs pictures and text to be used in things like books, magazines, web sites, and in this case, stamps.

 shaping and reshaping
 
Shaping means forming. And of course reshaping means shaping again. They design the stamp, then they design it over and over again, until it's just right.

 philatelist's
 
A philatelist is a stamp collector.