Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2008 Beijing Olympics -- Estonia Issue

Estonia took part in the Olympic Games for the first time in 1920 in Antwerp and brought back a gold medal – Alfred Neuland won it in lightweight weightlifting. By that time an Estonian athlete had already won an Olympic medal – silver in wrestling by Martin Klein in 1912. In the period before World War II it was the Estonian strongmen who reaped laurels at Olympic Games. Kristjan Palusalu's two gold medals from the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin where he reigned supreme both in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling crowned their successful performance. In 1955-1988 Estonian sportsmen competed in Soviet colours. Svetlana Chirkova and Erika Salumäe won gold medals twice – the former in foil fencing in Mexico and Munich and the latter in the sprint track event in Soul and Barcelona. Starting with the first modern Olympic Games postage stamps dedicated to this international sports festival have been issued over more than a hundred years. Estonia joined the rest of the world after the restoration of its independence. In 1992, after a forced interval of more than half a century, Estonia once again sent its team to compete under the blue, black and white national flag to Barcelona and printed its first Olympic stamps. The stamp issued on the opening day of the Beijing Olympic Games on 8 August 2008 features the Discobolus of Myron and the logo of the games. The names of the twenty Estonian athletes who have won gold medals at Olympic Summer Games appear in gold in the pane margins.


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