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Special Olympics World Games Commemorated on Forever Stamp

Games to take place in Los Angeles from July 25 to Aug. 2



A high-resolution image of the stamp is available for media use only by emailing mark.r.saunders@usps.gov

IRVINE, CALIF., May 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Postal Service begins celebrating the 2015 Special Olympics World Games by issuing the Special Olympics World Games Forever stamp during the Special Olympics Southern California 2015 Orange County Spring Regional Games in Irvine tomorrow. The stamp will be available nationwide May 9.

As the flagship event of the Special Olympics movement, the Special Olympics World Games will be held in Los Angeles from July 25 - Aug. 2. More than half a million spectators will enjoy nine days of challenging and inspiring international competition as more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries compete in 25 Olympic-type sports. The athletes will include 344 from the United States. Visit Special Olympics USA for the complete U.S. team listing.

Today, Special Olympics has grown to encompass nearly 5 million athletes worldwide. Every year, with the support of more than 1.3 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics organizes more than 81,000 games and competitions. The 2015 Special Olympics World Games will showcase what Special Olympics is accomplishing every day, around the world.

"The Postal Service is pleased to honor Special Olympics, an organization that — for nearly five decades — has changed the world by creating opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities," said USPS Pacific Area Vice President Dean Granholm. "In doing so, we honor the important work of Special Olympics, which uses sports as the catalyst for societal change in the areas of health, education, and in creating communities of acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities everywhere. Using these stamps on your cards, letters and packages is a great way to show your support for these athletes."

Scheduled to join Granholm in dedicating the stamps will be Special Olympics Southern California Orange County Athlete of the Year Tony Briones; Special Olympics Southern California Board Chairman Tim Redmond; Special Olympics Southern California President and CEO Bill Shumard; Irvine Police Department Commander Mike Hallinan; and Irvine Mayor Steven Choi.

"Special Olympics changed my life and the lives of many of my friends and their families," said Briones. "It helps us to learn compassion and leadership skills while bringing fun, accomplishment and pride into our lives. The stamp makes us feel important and we thank the Postal Service for extending Special Olympics this honor."

The Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles Logo

The Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles logo was donated by the Davis Elen advertising agency. Taking center stage is the celebratory figure that represents the joy the athletes feel when they compete. The multi-colored circle around the celebratory figure represents inclusion for all people with intellectual disabilities. The 19 colors of the logo are made up of the analogous colors derived from the flags of the 177 countries competing, with the shape of the color pieces being a nod to the Hollywood klieg lights that are commonly used in the host city of Los Angeles. Click here to view the video of the making of the logo.

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance.

Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 4.4 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than 1.3 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 81,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Visit Special Olympics at specialolympics.org. Engage with Special Olympics on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq; instagram.com/specialolympics and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.

The Stamp Design

The stamp features the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles logo, showcasing the colors of flags from participating countries. "The logo's celebratory figure represents the courage, determination and joy of our athletes," said President and CEO of the 2015 World Games Patrick McClenahan. "Placing the iconic image inside the circle represents acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities." Art director Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, VA, designed the stamp for the Postal Service.

The Stamp

The Special Olympics World Games stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.

Fifty million Special Olympics World Games Forever stamps were produced. Customers may purchase the stamps at usps.com/stamps, the Postal Store, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide or visit ebay.com/stamps to shop for a wide variety of postage stamps and collectibles.

Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks

Customers have 60 days to obtain first-day-of-issue postmarks by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

Special Olympics World Games Stamp
Postmaster
15642 Sand Canyon Avenue
Irvine, CA 92619-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers are charged 5 cents each. All orders must be postmarked by July 8, 2015.

Ordering First-Day Covers

The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

U.S. Postal Service
Catalog Request
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
Philatelic Products
There are nine philatelic products for this stamp issue:

472806, Press Sheet with Die-cut, $39.20 (print quantity 500).
472808, Press Sheet without Die-cut, $39.20 (print quantity 1,500).

472810, Pane of 20 stamps included with the Digital Color Postmark Keepsake, $11.95.

472816, First-Day Cover, $0.93.

472821, Digital Color Postmark, $1.64.

472824, Framed Art, $29.95.

472830, Ceremony Program, $6.95.
472831, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.
472832, Stamp Deck Card with Digital Color Postmark, $1.99.

Many of this year's other stamps may be viewed on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, via Twitter @USPSstamps.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=32820

CONTACT: National contact: Mark Saunders 202.268.6524 mark.r.saunders@usps.gov Irvine, CA contact: Rich Maher 714.662.6350 richard.j.maher@usps.gov usps.com/newsSource:United States Postal Service