Click on our logo to return to home Learn English
TV Guide
Ways to Watch
Learning English
Sports Lounge
About Us
connecting people and ideas

English Bites - Vodcast
You can now download full episodes of English Bites.
Download video now

streaming video
Real Video real player >
Windows Video windows media >
Thursday, 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.

multiple choice quiz
story spotlight
print friendly

English Bites - Olympic Stamps
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.

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

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

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 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.

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

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

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.

A philatelist is a stamp collector.

We keep you posted on English Bites.

view the spotlight >
    Australia Network Home    Contact Us    Help    Legals    © ABC 2011