The 37-cent 2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece commemorative stamp was issued on June 9, 2004, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Richard Sheaff of Scottsdale, Arizona, designed the stamp.
The stamp honors the spirit of athleticism and international unity that the Olympic Games inspire. The stamp issuance coincided with the games of the XXVIII Olympiad held August 13-29 in Athens, Greece.
The first recorded Olympic Games took place in the Greek city of Olympia in 776 BC, and they were held every four years for nearly twelve centuries. Beginning with a single footrace called the stade, the games grew to include other events such as boxing, javelin, and discus. In 2004, thousands of athletes from around the world participated in the games at historic Athens.
Created by Lonnie Busch of Franklin, North Carolina, the stamp art features a stylized depiction of a Greek runner and is reminiscent of the artwork on ancient Greek black-figure vases. The main figure appears in black; the same figure is repeated in red in front and behind the main figure. A classical design known as a meander or key pattern borders the top and bottom of the stamp. The Olympic rings appear below the denomination. Text along the bottom border reads, "2004 Olympic Games * Athens, Greece."
Ashton-Potter (USA), Ltd., printed 71 million stamps in the offset/microprint "XXVIII Olympiad."
Postal Bulletin (May 13, 2004).