American Sports and Athletes on Stamps

Physical Fitness

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The 5-cent Sokols Centennial - Physical Fitness stamp was issued February 15, 1965.

Since the first U.S. postage stamps with a sports theme were issued in 1932 to commemorate the U.S. hosted Winter and Summer Olympic Games, the United States has issued hundreds of stamps depicting athletic activities enjoyed by Americans. The following slides feature a small sample of the stamps related to American sports and athletics that have not already been included in this online exhibit.

Physical Fitness-Sokol Issue

Norman Todhunter designed the stamp, inspired by the statue of a discus thrower that stands near the State Department in Washington, DC. It was issued to publicize the importance of physical fitness and for the centenary of the founding of the Sokol (athletic) organization in the United States.

Physical Fitness Issue

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The 20-cent Physical Fitness stamp was issued May 14, 1983.

The stamp recognized the increasing enthusiasm of Americans for attaining and maintaining good physical health. The stamp draws attention to all forms of exercise, sport, and physical fitness activities. Since runners are a recognizable symbol of the modern fitness movement, the designer, Donald Moss of Ridgefield, Connecticut, chose to depict one female and two male joggers dressed in appropriate running attire. Behind the runners appears a white wavy line representing an electrocardiograph tracing. It graphically depicts the changes in electric potential of the currents that traverse the heart and initiate its contractions.