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Olympics series ends with a tribute to a classic

Myron's Discobolus, a classic sculptural study of an athlete throwing the discus, is featured on a new 32-cent stamp concluding the 1996 Olympic series. The stamp brings to 21 the total number of Olympic stamps released by the Postal Service this year.

The Discobolus stamp is available as a single or in the 1996 Olympic Games Special Anniversary Sheet of 20 stamps. The sheet also features an enlarged version of the Discobolus with appropriate text. The inscription "1896 Athens, Greece. 1996 Atlanta, Georgia USA" appears beneath the big discus thrower.

In addition to the sheet of 20 Discobolus stamps there is an envelope marking the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta.

This is not the first time the Discobolus has appeared on a U.S. stamp. It was first seen in 1932 when the Postal Service issued its first three Olympic stamps for the Winter Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., and the Summer Games in Los Angeles.

Although Myron's original bronze sculpture (circa 450 B.C.) no longer exists, several copies in marble were made during Roman times and survive. The 1996 stamp design is an engraving based on the marble copy housed in the Museo Nazionale Romano delle Terme in Rome.

For first-day postmarks, send to Customer Affixed Stamps, 1996 Centennial Olympic Games Anniversary Sheet, Postmaster, 3900 Crown Road SW, Atlanta, GA 30304-9991. Deadline is Aug. 18.

"Famous Women'

Nicaragua pays tribute to "Famous Women of the World" in a new sheetlet of stamps in connection with the recent United Nations' Fourth Conference on Women held in Beijing.

Depicted on the stamps are Indira Gandhi of India, Madame Chiang Kai-shek of China, Mother Teresa of India, Marie Curie, who was born in Poland and received two Nobel Prizes, Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain, Eleanor Roosevelt of the United States, Eva Peron of Argentina, Golda Meir of Israel and Violeta Barrios de Chamorro of Nicaragua.

Three souvenir sheets also were issued to honor Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis of the United States, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma and Valentina Tereshkova of the then-Soviet Union, the first woman to travel in outer space.

Check for availability with a local stamp dealer.

First-day covers

As a reminder to U.S. collectors of first-day covers of new issues, the Philatelic Fulfillment Service can provide your requests. These are blank covers with the new stamps affixed and postmarked with the official "first day of issue" cancellation.

You can place your order by phoning (800) 782-6724 or by writing to the Philatelic Fulfillment Service Center, U.S. Postal Service, P.O. Box 41924, Kansas City, MO 64141-6424.