Giant on the move
Souvenir problem licked for Beijing athletes
Athletes at this year’s Olympics are being offered the ultimate souvenir — personalised Beijing 2008 postage stamps with their own faces on them.
The stamps are guaranteed to bring a smile to relatives’ faces back home, although you’ll need six of them for a foreign-bound postcard. Post office employees in the athletes’ village say coaches and officials are snapping them up as fast as a 100m sprinter.
“They are very popular. Some are buying 10 or 11 sheets,” said post office worker Li Qiang, who for 45 yuan ($6.6) for a sheet of 12 will take your photo and superimpose it on the rectangular Olympic stamps on show on the wall.
Li says well over a hundred sets of stamps have been printed so far, featuring Germans, Czech athletes and half the Chinese baseball team for a start.
“They’re very nice, I’m going to buy some,” said Romanian handball player Valeria Bese, who was her country’s flag bearer in Friday’s athletes’ parade. She said she planned to keep hers as a memento, rather than stick them on letters.
Of course, given our press access to the village, I was tempted to get some made. It would be a super-kitsch souvenir, along with the Chairman Mao playing cards they sell in the village store.