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XXII. Winter Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi Issue number
556
Date of issue
15.01.2014
Face value
0.90 €
The stamps will be on sale until 31 December 2015 only.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The Winter Olympic Games, taking place ever since 1924 (Chamonix, France) as a younger sibling of the Summer Olympics, have been held every four years since 1994 (Lillehammer, Norway), always two years apart from its summer counterpart. Therefore, the athletes, sport officers, diplomats, journalists, and fans are meeting also in 2014, particularly from 7th to 23th February, in the Russian city of Sochi situated near the Black Sea on the foothill of the Caucasus. During the voting of the 119th meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Guatemala City, 2007, Sochi received more votes than the South Korean city of Pyeongchang and the Austrian city of Salzburg, although it had not been known before as a winter sports resort. However, the selection criteria represent not only traditions, natural conditions and infrastructure, but also sports diplomacy and policy. Sports and especially the Olympic ones are becoming big business requiring new impulses and territorial expansions. It is also the case of Sochi and its apt motto: “Gateway to Future.” A white dot on the sport map is becoming the centre of sports, recreation and active rest thanks to generous financial allocations of the Russian government and its promise to guarantee US$ 12 billion as a financial support.

What do the Winter Olympic Games 2014 mean for us and our athletes? For some they are great expectation, for the others, sport goals, increased training discipline and belief in their own strengths, sports luck and sometimes also a small miracle. So keep our fingers crossed for our representatives of our most successful winter discipline - biathlon. But also don’t forget about ice hockey – a discipline in which we always expect the best possible outcome, or more and more improving downhill skiing, and cross country skiing which is still better-than-average even with our limited resources. We cannot forget also other athletes who will be trying both to achieve a maximum and to represent our little country. The little country that will honour the Olympics with a “big” postage stamp, designed by one of the most celebrated Slovak artists and the author of Slovak postage stamps – Igor Piačka. So let’s say thank you to “maestro” and let’s wish a successful Olympic start and a long, victorious flight to our stamp and our athletes …

Vojtech Jankovič                                                                                                                                                                     

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