Olympic Games

A new stamp series was unveiled in 1932, designed as a “spotlight on the sports, athletes, and host cities that carry the torch for global unity.”  Olympic Games stamps quickly became collector favorites.

US #716 Third Winter Games
US #716
Third Winter Games

The 1932 2¢ Winter Olympic Games stamp is the first U.S. stamp issued to commemorate the international competition. Voters chose U.S. #716 as on of the 100 Greatest American Stamps.

1932 marked the third time the Winter Games were held, and the first time the event was held in the U.S. The games were held in Lake Placid, a small town in upstate New York that was home to less than 3,000 year round residents.

The Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce asked the village postmaster to suggest a commemorative stamp for the event. A New York congressman helped persuade reluctant officials, and the stamp was approved.

The 2¢ Winter Olympic Games stamp was issued just days before the opening ceremonies, and sold only in Lake Placid and Washington, D.C.  Demand for the stamp was heavy from the moment the Lake Placid Post Office opened at 7 a.m. until mid-morning, when its entire supply of 400,000 stamps was exhausted. State police were called in to control the crowd.

Postal officials were soon embarrassed to learn the stamp design contained an error. Ski jumpers don’t use poles, but the athlete pictured on the 2¢ stamp is clearly grasping a pair as he flies mid-air.

US #718 Summer Olympic Games
US #718
Summer Olympic Games

This stamp was issued in honor of the 1932 Summer Olympic Games. It release was delayed because the first class rate was scheduled to be changed. The increase to 3¢ was signed into law on June 6, and #718 was released the following week. There was large demand for this stamp, so they were on sale for just a short time.

US #719 Summer Olympic Games
US #719
Summer Olympic Games

This stamp covered the international letter rate and was used by athletes from other countries. The design is based on a classic Greek sculpture called Discobolus.

US #1146 1960 Winter Olympic Games
US #1146
1960 Winter Olympic Games
U.S. # 1146 commemorates the 1960 Winter Olympics held in Squaw Valley, California. All covers were postmarked “Olympic Valley, California” – which was a station for the Tahoe City Post Office. The station had been established specifically to handle visitors to the Olympic games.  In an earlier version of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice,” the U.S. Men’s hockey team upset gold medal favorite Canada, the Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia, to win the gold medal. Another highlight of the games was Norwegian skater Knut Johannessen, who broke the world record in the 10,000-meter race by a large margin.
US #1460 1972 Summer Olympic Games
US #1460
1972 Summer Olympic Games
The 1972 Summer Olympics were held in Munich, which was then in West Germany. It was the second Summer Olympics to be held in Germany. The first had been in 1936, when the Nazi regime was still in power.  The U.S. team’s Mark Spitz set a world record by winning seven gold medals in a single Olympics. Spitz’s record stood until 2008, when Michael Phelps, also representing the U.S., won eight gold medals.  Olga Korbut, a tiny gymnast from the Soviet Union, also captured the hearts of millions around the world as she took three gold medals.
US #1461 Winter Olympic Games
US #1461
Winter Olympic Games

Originating in Switzerland in the 1800s, bobsled racing has been included as part of the Olympic Games since 1924. Originally, tobogganers added runners to their sleds to increase speed, and they banked the course to add excitement.

US #1462 Winter Olympic Games
US #1462
Summer Olympic Games

Another celebration of the 20th Olympic Summer Games, this stamp reflects the emphasis placed on track and field events.  Sadly, the Games were overshadowed by an act of terrorism known as the “Munich Massacre.” On September 5, eight Palestinian terrorists broke into the Olympic Village and took 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and officials hostage. All of the Israelis were killed, along with five of the terrorists.

US #C85 Winter Olympics
US #C85
Winter Olympics
US #1695-98 1976 Olympic Games
US #1695-98
1976 Olympic Games
This block of four stamps commemorates the 12th Winter Olympic Games at Innsbruck, Austria, and the 21st Olympiad held in Montreal, Canada. Interestingly, of the four sports represented, only running dates back to the original Greek Olympic Games.
US #1791-94 1979 Summer Olympics
US #1791-94
1979 Summer Olympics

This block of four stamps was issued to commemorate the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow. However, they were removed from sale to support President Jimmy Carter’s decision to boycott the games. Once the games ended, the stamps were sold again.

C97 Olympic Games
Olympic Games

This issue salutes the 22nd Olympic Games which were held in Moscow in 1980.

US #1795-98 13th Winter Games
US #1795-98
13th Winter Games

This block of four was the final issue honoring the 1980 Winter Olympics. Most Americans best remember the Games for the U.S. Hockey Team’s gold medal performance.

US #2048-51 1984 Summer Olympic Games
US #2048-51
1984 Summer Olympic Games
This series of four stamps celebrates the 23rd Olympiad, held in Los Angeles in 1984. They were issued to pay the 13¢ postcard rate. Although the Olympics took place in Los Angeles, the First Day of Issue ceremony was hold in South Bend, Indiana, on the campus of Notre Dame University. The ceremony was in conjunction with the Junior Olympics Games being held there.
C101-04 Summer Olympic Games
Summer Olympic Games

This se-tenant commemorates the 23rd Olympic Games which were held in Los Angeles during the summer of 1984.  The block features assorted sports including women’s gymnastics, women’s basketball, soccer, and the men’s hurdles.

C105-08 Summer Olympic Games
Summer Olympic Games
This block of four also commemorates the 23rd Olympic Games.  The stamps feature Olympic sports including the shot put, women’s swimming, weight lifting, and men’s gymnastics.
C109-12 Summer Olympics
Summer Olympics

The third block-of-four dedicated to the Summer Olympics of 1984 features cycling, pole vaulting, fencing, and women’s volleyball. Few sports have been so enthusiastically greeted at the Olympics as was women’s volleyball when it made its debut at the 1964 Tokyo Games. The sport was invented in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 1895.

US #2067-70 Winter Olympic Games
US #2067-70
Winter Olympic Games


This set of four stamps was issued in honor of the athletes competing in the 1984 Winter Olympic Games. Designed by Robert Peak of Scottsdale, Arizona, the stamps showcase four of the most popular sports in the winter games.  The 1984 Winter Olympics were held in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the time. It was the first Winter Games – and the second Olympics – held in a Communist state. Bill Johnson took the gold in alpine skiing to become the first America to win an Olympic downhill event.
US #2082-85 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics
US #2082-85
1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics

This series of four stamps was issued at the site of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The last stamps to commemorate the 1984 Summer and Winter Olympics, these stamps are the end of an Olympic stamp set that spanned 28 issues and lasted 13 months.

US #2369 1988 Winter Olympics
US #2369
1988 Winter Olympics

The alpine skier featured on this stamp is appropriate, as skiing and skating were the dominant sports at the 1988 Winter Olympics held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

US #2380 1988 Summer Olympics
US #2380
1988 Summer Olympics

The 1988 Summer Olympic Games were held in Seoul, South Korea. U.S. athletes won 94 medals, including 36 gold.

US #2528 Flag and Olympic Rings
US #2528
Flag and Olympic Rings
When the USPS became an official sponsor of the 1992 Olympic Games, a request was made to have a definitive picturing the American flag accompanied by the Olympic rings. This was the first definitive to bear the Olympic logo.
US #2539 USPS & Olympic Rings
US #2539
USPS & Olympic Rings

This $1 definitive publicized the USPS’s sponsorship of the 1992 Winter and Summer Olympic Games. The stamp, in vertically arranged commemorative size, featured the USPS logo – a stylized bald eagle – along with the five interlocking Olympic rings.

US #2553-57 1992 Summer Olympics
US #2553-57
1992 Summer Olympics
The Olympic Field and Track stamps are the first computer-designed stamps.  Illustrator Joni Carter, who the Postal Service describes as “a pioneer in the field of computer-designed art,” designed and illustrated the stamps with an IBM computer and advanced multimedia technology.
US #2611-15 Winter Olympics
US #2611-15
Winter Olympics
The Postal Service kicked off its 1992 stamp program with five fast-paced commemoratives featuring popular winter Olympic sports: speed skating, skiing, bobsledding, ice hockey, and figure skating. Some of these popular events require endurance, others require courage, and still others require grace. All of them require skill and speed.
US #2637-41 Summer Olympics
US #2637-41
Summer Olympics

The Olympic spirit continued into the summer of 1992 with a se-ten that commemorated the world’s most popular sporting event – the Summer Olympics.  These action-packed stamps used the same semi-jumbo commemorative format as the 1992 Winter Olympic stamps.  Featuring tightly-cropped pictures of five favorite summer events – soccer, women’s gymnastics, volleyball, boxing, and swimming – the stamps sported the Olympic rings to publicize the Postal Service’s sponsorship of the Olympic Games.

US #2807-11 Winter Olympics
US #2807-11
Winter Olympics
US #3863 2004 Summer Olympics
US #3863
2004 Summer Olympics

The first Olympic Games took place in Athens, Greece, in 776 B.C. In 2004, the Olympics returned again to their origin when Athens hosted the XXVIII Olympiad. The phrase “XXVIII Olympiad” is microprinted above the runner’s right foot.

US #3995 2006 Winter Olympics
US #3995
2006 Winter Olympics
Skiing has long transported people and goods in icy lands. A 6,000-year-old Russian painting shows a hunter on primitive skis. The Olympics has ski jumping, snowboarding, Nordic-combined, freestyle, and cross-country skiing, as well as alpine skiing, featured on the “2006 Olympic Winter Games” stamp.
US #4334 2008 Olympic Games
US #4334
2008 Olympic Games

The 2008 Summer Olympic Games, officially referred to as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, took place between August 8 and August 24, 2008. The events were held at the Beijing National Stadium in Beijing in the People’s Republic of China. Beijing was selected as the site for the 2008 Olympics at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee on July 13, 2001.

US #4436 Winter Olympics
US #4436
Winter Olympics

Canada welcomed the world to the 2010 Winter Olympics “with glowing hearts,” a phrase taken from the Canadian national anthem and used as the motto of the 21st Winter Olympics. The games took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, from February 12 through 28, 2010. The opening and closing ceremonies were held in BC Place Stadium.

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  1. I Have a 1988 Olympic Stamp to go along with the Gold Stamp Replica……But I cant find out any Info on it……Is it worth anything?

    1. Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding the value of your stamp(s). Although Mystic Stamp Company doesn’t perform appraisals, we can recommend several reliable sources for information.

      The Scott Catalogue is filled with information on U.S. stamps and most worldwide issues. Another source for worldwide stamps is the Kraus-Minkus Catalog. Both catalogs are great resources for stamp identification and value. Most local libraries contain at least one of these valuable resources.

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