"The stamp sheet is dynamic and colourful. It is a truly wonderful gesture from Posti to depict athletes with a disability in their stamps."
Itella Posti Oy, the Finnish Post, will release a collector’s sheet of two stamps portraying Finnish Paralympic athletes Leo-Pekka Tähti and Saana-Maria Sinisalo on 7 May 2012.
Tähti is a Paralympic gold medallist, World Champion and world record holder in athletics (wheelchair racing) while Sinisalo is an archer with medal hopes for the upcoming London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Besides the stamps, the collector’s sheet, designed by Klaus Welp, will also carry the pictures of further Finnish Paralympic athletes including goalball players Petri Posio and Erkki Miinala, judoka Jani Kallunki, cyclist Jarmo Ollanketo, and his pilot Marko Törmänen.
Tommi Kantola, Product Manager of Itella Posti Oy, said: “As sports for people with a disability have not had a stamp before, the year of the London 2012 Paralympics is a good time to recognize our internationally successful athletes by releasing a stamp. Thanks to his achievements, Leo-Pekka Tähti was an obvious choice. In 2011, the Finnish Athletics Federation selected him as the athlete of the year and the Finnish Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities chose him as the disabled athlete of the year.”
Nina Jakonen, Head of Communications at the Finnish Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities (VAU), said: “The stamp sheet is dynamic and colourful. It is a truly wonderful gesture from Posti to depict athletes with a disability in their stamps. The sheet tells a number of diverse stories of disabled sports.”
The Finnish Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities (VAU) acts as strong body promoting sports for people with a disability. VAU’s operations cover activities with young people, exercise, competitive and top sports, and organizational activities while the Finnish Paralympic Committee is responsible for top level disabled sports, and sending the Finnish team to the Paralympics.