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British Winners Get Special Stamps, Gold Letter Boxes
August 5, 2012

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Royal Mail is celebrating the country's gold medal winners in two ways: with stamps and with golden paint.

The official postal system of Great Britain is producing a special postage stamps showing the faces and sport of each gold medalist. In addition, Royal Mail officials will apply golden paint to a letter box in the hometown of the winning athlete.

This second event is perhaps more important than the first because it is the first time in nearly 150 years that Royal Mail has painted its letter boxes anything but red. The first golden paint went on a post box outside Westminster Abbey, in London. After that, officials were dispersed to the various hometowns. (Officials promised that the letter boxes would return to their iconic red color sometime soon.)

Rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning were the first British gold medalists to benefit from the new publicity scheme. Cyclist Bradley Wiggins, fresh off his win in this year's Tour de France, soon followed. In all, through the first week of the Olympics, Britain has won 16 gold medals.

In what is sure to have a repeat performance, the post office in Penzance, hometown of Glover, reported selling out of the commemorative stamps. More are on the way, Royal Mail assured the Penzance officials. Wiggins's hometown of Chorley will no doubt experience the same euphoria and the same lack of stamps at a certain point.

As of the first week, Britain has won gold medals in men's long jump; men's 10,000; women's heptathlon; road cycling (time trial); canoe slalom; track cycling; rowing; sailing; shooting; and tennis. (In this latest event, Scotland's Andy Murray reversed the results of a month ago and defeated seven-time Wimbledon Roger Federer in straight sets.)

Royal Mail said that gold medal winners in the Paralympics will receive the rewards.




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