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Sochi Olympics becomes pilgrimage venue for stamp collectors

February 14, 2014, 20:19 UTC+3 Polishchuk Oksana
© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

SOCHI, February 14. /ITAR-TASS/. The Olympic Games is not only a great occasion for athletes and sports fans, but also a pilgrimage venue for stamp collectors.

Stamp collectors can definitely be described as sports fans as well, but during the Olympics they are far more interested in stamps, postcards and exclusive cancellations rather than in “goals, scores and seconds.” The current Winter Olympics in Sochi is not an exception.

The Post Office of Russia has issued a series of sports stamps and postcards as well as of gift sets and albums particularly dedicated to the 2014 Winter Games. Sochi’s Olympic Park, mountain cluster and other areas have post offices, which cancel stamps with sports disciplines held on that very particular day of the competition.

“According to the rules, an exclusive puncheon used to cancel stamps is employed for one day only and then it is destroyed,” Svetlana Mayevsakaya, an employee with a post office in Sochi, said in interview with Itar-Tass.

“We already know our ‘own’ stamp collectors, who come to the post office daily for a new stamp cancellation,” she said.

According to her, one of the visitors impressed her greatly. He was an 80-year-old gentleman, who showed her several postcards from the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow with the exclusive Olympic cancellation from that year.

“He was already collecting postcards at that time and he has come here on purpose in search of more contributions to his collection. According to post office regulations, some sorts of products, which include stamps and postcards, can be purchased only there where the event takes place. Not to mention exclusive cancellations,” Mayevskaya said.

She said an exclusive collection was currently on sale in Sochi only. It could not be purchased in any other part of Russia. “Even our colleagues in Moscow ask us to send them definite postcards.”

Postcards, stamps, albums and other relevant post office products bearing the Olympics symbols are in great demand from Sochi post office clients. Foreigners are no less enthusiastic than Russian and are buying postcards to send them to their home countries.

“This is not just a memorabilia about the unique event, but a good investment of money as well,” visiting Austrian sports fan Erich told an Itar-Tass correspondent. “It is obvious that in the near future a postcard with a unique cancellation from the Sochi Olympics may cost a fortune.”

He said that he had already sent postcards with views of Sochi to his mother, two brothers, and mother-in-law and one more to his own address.

“Sochi will be with me even when I return to Austria,” he said, while writing another postcard.

Asked whether he had any complaints to make about Sochi, Erich said, “Of course, I do. The lack of time is one. The other is my wife. She is eager to come back to Sochi in summer time, while I like the winter a lot more. But this is about all. No other regrets.


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