To commemorate Russia's first ever Paralympic Winter Games, a unique sheet of three postage stamps, dedicated to the Sochi 2014 Paralympic medals, have been unveiled as part of the Sochi 2014 Philatelic Program.
The President of the International Paralympic Committee Sir Philip Craven, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Kozak, President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko, and Deputy Head of the Federal Communications Agency Igor Chursin all took part in the unveiling ceremony.
The sheet of stamps consists of three unique stamps, each one depicting the medals of the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi (gold, silver and bronze).
These stamps are unique in design and use cutting edge technology. Three types of metallic paint - bronze, silver and gold - were used as well as “hot stamping”. This technology gives the image of the medal a 3D effect.
There are 150,000 copies of the new sheet in circulation. Each stamp has its own denomination: the stamp with the gold medal's image is 75 rubles, the silver medal is 50 rubles, and the bronze is 25 rubles. The size of the sheet is 136x80 mm.
The margins of each sheet are marked with a special QR code with an encrypted link to the official website of the 2014 Games in Sochi http://www.sochi2014.com/.
Sochi 2014 Philatelic Program
Postage products have accompanied every modern Olympics Games since 1896. Postage stamps issued by the host country are a part of each Olympiad and, without a doubt, are the most valuable piece in stamp collections.
The Sochi 2014 Philatelic Program began in 2011 with the launch of a postage stamp sheet featuring the stamp "Sochi - host city of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014." Also released were the first stamps of the series "XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Tourism on the Black Sea Coast of Russia" and "XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Olympic Winter Sports." The total circulation of all stamps issued in 2011 was more than 10 million, while in 2012 this number reached approximately 12 million. Sales from the first few months alone have revealed strong interest in the stamps, both from collectors and the general public.
In all, at the start of the Olympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi 8 sheets of stamps, 50 stamps, 2 envelopes with the original stamp, and over 50 pictorial marked envelopes and cards were made ready. The subjects used for Sochi 2014 postage merchandise include winter sports, mascots of the 2014 Games, the Olympic sports venues, the Olympic Torch Relay, sports legends and views of Krasnodar Region.
Furthermore, for the first time in Russian history, as well as in the history of the Olympic Movement, postage stamps with a two-dimensional barcode for recognition on mobile devices were released. The stamp features the image of the official logo of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi and the two-dimensional barcode with an encrypted link to www.sochi2014.com, where anyone interested can access it through a mobile device after downloading a special program.