The IOC and the British Library are featuring this exhibition as part of the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad - “Olympex – Collecting the Olympic Games” ... and if I had not gone to the British Library yesterday to see another exhibition – I would not have been aware of yet another facet of this Olympics.
|Sarah Storey's stamps for her 4 gold medals|
The Olympex brochure was dropped on the ground ... and I saw the pages fluttering ... now I don’t usually stop and pick litter up ... though perhaps after all the volunteering that has been going on this year, I should add it in to my daily routine ... but this tempted me, and I surreptitiously bended my knee and retrieved ‘said papier’ ... fluffed it out, dusted it off and away I went.
Well today posed a conundrum for at least one of our paralympians, Sarah Storey, yesterday she won her fourth gold medal in the road cycling 40 miles (64 km) event – she was 7 minutes ahead!
|Helen Glover's gold post box - for|
her Olympic Rowing gold medal - it is
in Penzance ... I might try and find it
next week when I'm down!
Anyway ... when asked in an interview ... four first-class stamps and four post boxes – yes she said ... the boxes are outside their house, another where she used to train and live, one outside her high school – the last - probably in Macclesfield, their nearest large town. Decisions, decisions ... where does that gold post box go! (Oh by the way her husband won a gold too!)
Sarah is one amazing lady as she won five golds as a swimmer from the 1992 - 2004 Paralympics, to four golds this year for Cycling, and two previous golds in 2008 – also other swimming silver and bronze medals, and she competes as an able-bodied athlete.
|Bright poster for an austere time -|
... one mother with a child born without a functioning left hand – said that Sarah has shown that there is nothing to hold her feisty son back ... she’s now able to stop worrying about her son’s future – a comforting thought. And yes there are many many more athletes more severely affected, but the tv and media coverage has highlighted visually and audibly the support and opportunity that is possible to many others.
Hence my swooping on the streets of London was a source of inspiration for another blog post ... then seeing Sarah comment that stamp collecting and letter writing had become a serious hobby for family members, and other less sporty types – is an interesting uplift from the Paralympics.
I shall visit Olympex tomorrow on my way back through London ... the exhibition uses postage stamps and postcards to trace the birth of the modern Olympic Games, and then concentrates on the three Games held here in London: 1908, 1948 and 2012 – where it includes the Paralympics as well.
|The Great Stadium,|
Shepherd's Bush London:
Programme cost 6d
Sir Philip Craven, who is now President of the International Paralympic Committee, played various sports most notably wheelchair rugby from 1972 until 1994 on the international stage, says in the brochure:
“It is important to emphasise that the Olympic and Paralympic Games are not simply about sport. They are about values, standards and beliefs that are given expression through sport, and which apply equally to all facets of life. The Cultural Olympiad is an important part of communicating this message.”
The exhibition puts it so cleverly ... “collecting is the sport of spectators” ... for whatever reason – getting the kids occupied (I know I was well and truly occupied for a few years) – teaching us about the world ... a thematic passion, or for me it was just geography – I wanted to know where those countries were ... now I’d add to that curiosity – what flower is that, or bird ... and (now always) wanting to know more!!
|The Great Stadium -|
advertising the Franco-
British Exhibition ... a large
public fair attracting 8 million
visitors celebrating the
Entente Cordiale signed by
France and Britain in 1904
Collecting stamps, coins and memorabilia is one way in which millions of us can, and do, participate in, and feel a part of the Games ...
One of the key objectives of the Olympic Movement is to get as many people as possible, all over the world, imbued with the Olympic Spirit.
Many draw inspiration and example from the deeds of athletes at the Games, but not everyone can be an athlete or attend an event – cultural activities, such as this exhibition, provide an opportunity for that Olympic Spirit to soar and reach others through a different medium.
There cannot be many in this country who have not been touched by the events of the Cultural Olympiad, the Olympics or the Paralymics in some way or other.
|Stamps issued - showing|
sports linked with
appropriate London landmarks
for the 2012 Olympic Games
Curiosity hasn’t killed my cat – my cat just wants to know more ... and frankly for the vibes, atmosphere and general ambience of our country to keep right on going ... reflecting the attitudes of all these participants – athletes, back-up staff, families, organisers and particularly the volunteers ... let’s not forget this feeling.
Stamps, postcards, and now Ink-Jet Postmarks (add another dimension), like books, tell a story ... an illustrated history of the Games, a personal addendum from the postcard content ...
... or to tell the Ink-Jet Postmark story – 20th December 2004 was the day that New York changed the American date order convention for one day when the Authorities learned of London’s plans for a big publicity boost to push their campaign for London 2012.
Did you know – I never did ... but a story - - an idea for a story - - something to drop in to a story?
Buy an Olympian or Paralympian gold medal winner stamp and drop it on a postcard with a story to inspire a youngster, or to show you care for a beloved person into that golden post box ... who knows where the journey might lead ...
Details on the British Library - IOC Exhibition: Olympex
SarahStorey via Wikipedia
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories