Since the first U.S. postage stamps with a sports theme were issued in 1932 to commemorate the U.S. hosted Winter and Summer Olympic Games, the United States has issued hundreds of stamps depicting athletic activities enjoyed by Americans. The following slides feature a small sample of the stamps related to American sports and athletics that have not already been included in this online exhibit.
Physical Fitness-Sokol Issue (Top Left)
Norman Todhunter designed the stamp, inspired by the statue of a discus thrower that stands near the State Department in Washington, DC. It was issued to publicize the importance of physical fitness and for the centenary of the founding of the Sokol (athletic) organization in the United States.
Physical Fitness Issue (Top Right)
The stamp recognized the increasing enthusiasm of Americans for attaining and maintaining good physical health. The stamp draws attention to all forms of exercise, sport, and physical fitness activities. Since runners are a recognizable symbol of the modern fitness movement, the designer, Donald Moss of Ridgefield, Connecticut, chose to depict one female and two male joggers dressed in appropriate running attire. Behind the runners appears a white wavy line representing an electrocardiograph tracing. It graphically depicts the changes in electric potential of the currents that traverse the heart and initiate its contractions.
Special Olympics Stamp Issues (Bottom)
In 1968, the Chicago Park District and the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Foundation sponsored the First International Special Olympics Games for one thousand participants. Since then, it has grown into the largest program for sports training and athletic competition in the world for mentally challenged persons. Today, with the assistance of hundres of thousands of volunteers worldwide, more than 3,000,000 children and adults participate in year-round athletic programs.