Percy Williams, 100 m and 200 m, 1928
Date of Issue
July 8, 1996
Series Time Span
Perforation or Dimension
13 x 12.5
Ashton-Potter Canada Limited.
Designed by Mark Koudis Based on a photograph by Canada's Sports Hall of Fame = Temple de la renommée des sports du Canada
There are few international events that enjoy the reputation of the Olympic Games. Launched a century ago this year, the modern Olympics offer a turbulent world the important opportunity to seek peace and unity through athletic competition. This summer, athletes from around the world will continue the tradition by competing at the Olympics Games in Atlanta, Georgia, and Canada's best will be there in force. To mark the centenary, and to honour the contribution made by our athletes over a hundred years, Canada Post Corporation is pleased to unveil a new series of five domestic rate stamps featuring Canadian gold medalists. No one surprised the crowds at the 1928 Olympics more than Canadian Percy Williams (1908-1982). The twenty-year old sprinter, of frail body and damaged heart, twice pulled ahead of the field to take the gold, quickly earning a reputation as the greatest sprinter the world had ever seen. Weakened from the rheumatic fever of his youth, Williams was determinated to overcome his physical limitations and represent his country on the world stage. Later in life, he declared that his achievements were due in great part to the unusual approach of his coach, Bob Granger, who insisted that Williams, instead of doing warm-up exercises, prepare for the Olympics by wrapping himself in blankets while watching other athletes demonstrate the motion he should use. The method paid off. Even after the Olympics, Williams continued to set speed records until he badly tore a leg muscle and withdrew from competitive sports altogether. Williams was honoured with the Order of Canada in 1980. The new Sporting Heroes series was designed by Mark Koudis of Atlanta Art and Design Inc. of Toronto. His first work for Canada Post, the series features evocative sepia toned photographs of these five prominent medalists with the athlete's name, the event and year of victory prominent in the design. The five rings of the Olympics are faintly visible in the centre of each stamp.
Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, Vol. 5, No. 4, 1996, p. 5, 7-9.
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