Eesti Post celebrates 100th anniversary of Estonia's first Olympic victory with silver stamp

On the 100th anniversary of the first Estonian Olympic victory, Eesti Post is releasing a pure silver postage stamp depicting the country’s first Olympic champion: Alfred Neuland, the winner of the gold medal in weightlifting at the Antwerp Olympic Games. This year also marks 125 years since the hero's birth.

President of the Estonian Olympic Committee Urmas Sõõrumaa expressed his gratitude for the silver stamp, which enshrines this significant victory for the Estonian nation and Estonian sport. “On behalf of the Estonian Olympic Committee, we would like to thank our long-term partner Eesti Post, which has celebrated important events in Estonian sports and Olympic history with us and has marked this important anniversary of Estonian sports history with this beautiful silver stamp,” he said. “Remembering history is vital, because we all know how important the first steps are in life on which the future is built together. Our strength lies in our roots, in the context of both lineage and the community. The best way to draw on this strength is to remember it.”

According to the Chairman of the Management Board of Eesti Post Ansi Arumeel, 19 stamps dedicated to the Olympic Games have been printed in Estonia, plus an additional six stamps recording the victories of modern Olympic heroes. "This year, 100 years since Estonia's first Olympic victory, the event will be celebrated with a pure silver postage stamp,” he explained. “You may be wondering that since it's an Olympic victory, why not gold. But our aim was not to convey the colour of the medal, but the soul of the Estonian Olympic movement: pure, clear and dignified silver is definitely more reflective of the people of Estonia."

The designer is artist Indrek Ilves, who has created many Estonian sports stamps, including those issued for the London, Rio and Pyeongchang Olympics.

Ilves remarked that the creation of a silver stamp is a special process. "Alfred Neuland's stamp is pure silver, which means that it isn't printed like regular paper stamps, but minted,” he explained. “So in terms of printing technology, its production was more similar to minting coins than to printing stamps. When creating the design, it was also necessary to take into account that colours could not be used: everything is monochrome, in black and white tones, although the stamp will eventually be realised in silver.”
According to Ilves, restoring the photograph that formed the basis of the stamp design was a great challenge. "Since it was taken more than 100 years ago, the photo had been damaged and I had to work hard to restore it,” he said. “The finished silver stamp depicts Neuland in a stance and wearing clothing that are faithful to the era, and there are also elements marking the anniversary."

The price of the silver postage stamp, which is primarily intended as a commemorative item, is 13 euros. The stamp is ideal for both philatelists and sports enthusiasts. The stamp is being printed in a limited run of 10,000, of which 500 will be packaged in a special gift box (retailing at 20 euros).

The stamp will be officially released on Friday 28 August; on the same day, those interested can also obtain the first-day cover. The following day, 29 August, marks the centenary of Alfred Neuland's victory at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics. This year also marks the 125th anniversary of Neuland's birth. Neuland won gold in Antwerp in the under-67.5 kg weight class with a result of 257.5 kg.



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