Sports

Going for gold: Royal Mail issues Olympian stamps

The handout photo provided by Royal Mail on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 shows British cyclist Bradley Wiggins with his gold medal and a new stamp celebrating his gold medal in the Men's Road Cycling Time Trial. (AP Photo/Royal Mail)

The handout photo provided by Royal Mail on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 shows British cyclist Bradley Wiggins with his gold medal and a new stamp celebrating his gold medal in the Men's Road Cycling Time Trial. (AP Photo/Royal Mail)  (AP2012)

Instead of portraits of the queen, Britain is getting kings and queens of sports.

The Royal Mail is has been busy paying tribute to the country's Olympians in the last two weeks with special issue stamps for gold medalists. The stamps feature the athlete in an action photo taken as they were competing -- and with Britain in third place on the gold medal table, they've been on overdrive printing those new stamps.

The mail has promised to put them on sale within 24 hours of the athlete's victory -- and some, like cycling star Bradley Wiggins and heptathlete Jessica Ennis, have proved exceptionally popular.

Stamp enthusiasts worry that collecting is disappearing as a hobby, what with everyone using email. They hope the gold stamps will inspire a new generation to take up collecting.