zondag 12 juli 2015

Sunday stamps: Sporting events

Today's theme of Sunday Stamps is: Sporting events.
Personally spoken, I'm not that much interested in sports, and am hardly watching sporting events on television. The only exceptions are the trainings and matches my kids are attending (I'm getting very enthusiast then), and every now and then sports attract my attention spontaneously in an other way. For instance when it has to do with nice stamps (which pokes up my enthusiasm, too)!

The stamps I want to share with you today are about some - to my opinion - very tough, hard sports.

The Volvo Ocean Race I didn't know until recently, due to this stamp sheet I learned about this sailing event:

The sailors sail around the world in about nine months. Nine months!
In June 2015 they had a pit stop in the Dutch city Den Haag (The Hague). This stamp sheet has been issued for this occasion by the Dutch Post in May 2015.

An other international sporting event which 'touched' the Netherlands for a few days is the famous bicycle race, the Tour de France.
The previous weekend, on 4 July 2015, the Tour started in the Dutch city Utrecht, the cyclists riding individual time trials in the first stage. And exactly one week ago the second stage started, from Utrecht in the center of our country, via the harbour city Rotterdam to Neeltje Jans in the south west of the Netherlands.
The Dutch Post issued a special 'postset' on these two days, existing of three postcards and this stamp sheet:

The Dutch Post has issued a stamp sheet on the Tour de France before. Five years ago, on 4 July 2010, the Tour de France started in Rotterdam, and the Post - then the predecessor of PostNL, TNT Post - issued this stamp sheet, which showed alle stages of the tour in that year, and cyclists!

From summer to winter, from international to a national sporting event, from the south west of the Netherlands to the north east: the Elfstedentocht, the Eleven Cities Tour. It is an ice skating event on natural ice, in the northern province Friesland (Frisia, Fryslân).
The good thing is that it is a real challenge: almost 200 kilometers skating! But the sad thing, at least for the skaters and organizers, is that it depends on the weather if this event will take place.
Every year the Elfstedentocht-fans are hoping for a rigorous winter, for severe frost.
Alas most of the winters in the Netherlands aren't cold enough for a sufficient amount of days. The first Elfstedentocht was in 1909. And the most recent Elfstedentocht was in 1997, so 18 years ago. That was the 15th Elfstedentocht in 106 years!..
On 2 January 2013 the Dutch PostNL issued this stamp sheet, in honour of Reinier Paping, the winner of the harsh (hardest) tour in 1963:

Check Sunday Stamps and the links under that post, to see more stamps on sporting events!

6 opmerkingen:

  1. Great stamp sets, Heleen. I always thought it was great that the Tour de France includes neighboring countries, and great stamps to go with it. That Ocean race is crazy - 9 months! I like the addition of the nautical flags to the stamps, reinforcing my impression that stamps for the Netherlands often feature a lot of elements.

  2. I didn't know that the Tour de France started in the Netherlands, and I hadn't heard of the other events at all.

  3. I always enjoy watching le tour and the tidal barrier also shown on the stamps looked spectacular. The ice race sounds fascinating, the jeopardy of whether it will happen or not possibly adds to the excitement.

  4. The Elfstedentocht fascinates me - imagine being a committee on hold for years and years....
    The Ocean Race is just insane!! (but great stamps)
    And I love watching le tour - mostly for the aerial views. But, like you am not much into sports. I like the current tour de France stamps more than the previous set.

  5. We had Le Tour in the UK last year and there seems to be a surge in cyclists since. 18 years since the last skating event seems a long time but the winters definitely seem warmer. Great stamps.