Ice hockey stars go for gold
The themes portrayed on the new stamps range from the Fire Brigade to the National Library to the Japanese beetle. But in the first issue of the year, one event stands out: the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Switzerland. This major event to be held in May is already being eagerly anticipated. Swiss Post has dedicated two stamps to the national ice hockey team. The new stamps will be available from all Swiss Post branches and the online shop from 5 March 2020.
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Will they make it to the final? Will they pull off a major coup? The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, which will be held between 8 and 24 May is particularly important to the Swiss national team this year. Matches will be played in a familiar environment in Zurich and Lausanne, offering the team home advantage – and expectations are high all around the country. These expectations have also spurred the players on, with a series of good performances in recent years. In 2013 and 2018, the team made it to the final, only just missing out on the gold medal. Don’t all good things come in threes? And wouldn’t 2020 be the ideal year for a Swiss sporting achievement, given that the World Championship slogan is “Let’s make history”?
Swiss Post has dedicated two stamps to this major event in its first stamp issue of the year. These illustrate the positive mood around the country and contain a healthy dose of “Swissness”. The Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau can be seen in the background, while the stamp motifs are based heavily on the official World Championship campaign: a star of the national team wearing the red kit is hitting a slapshot, and four players, including the goaltender, are rushing forwards on the pristine ice in full gear. Both pictures provide an impressive illustration of what ice hockey is all about: the quickest team sport in the world – raw, dynamic and full of power.
A big thank you to the Fire Brigade
Determination and strength are essential qualities for firefighters. In Switzerland alone, around 85,000 men and women work day and night to ensure that their fellow citizens remain safe and sound. Their service is a commitment to the common good, indispensable and greatly appreciated. This year, the Swiss Fire Brigade Association is celebrating its 150th anniversary with festivities including a large parade in Zurich on 10 May. By marking the anniversary with a stamp, Swiss Post is extending a thank you to all those who help save their fellow citizens from danger and avert damage. The motif illustrates the leap in time between 1870 and the present day: in the foreground, we see a firefighter in modern gear, and in the background, we see a traditional uniform.
Enjoying a dive into the reading room
The Swiss National Library is also celebrating an anniversary. It is so much more than merely a large building containing numerous books; it is a veritable institution. For 125 years, people have been able to plunge into this ocean of knowledge. And that is precisely what is illustrated on the stamp. It shows a diver in goggles and snorkelling gear surrounded by digital and print media in a reading room. One special feature of the stamp is that anyone who scans it with the Post-App will set the image in motion – thanks to augmented reality.
And with spring just around the corner, the UN has named 2020 “International Year of Plant Health”. Global trade and travel mean that new plant diseases and pests are reaching Switzerland more and more frequently. These include the Japanese beetle. Easily recognizable by the five white tufts of hair on its side, this uninvited guest is an increasingly common sight in southern Ticino. Anyone who comes across it should immediately report it to the cantonal plant protection service. That is why the Japanese beetle features prominently on one of our stamps – as a warning, you might say.
Motifs in the 1/2020 stamp issue – available and valid from 5 March 2020:
- IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Switzerland – “Puck” stamp at CHF 0.85, “Team” stamp at CHF 1.00
- 150 years Swiss Fire Brigade Association stamp – stamp at CHF 1.00
- 125 years National Library – stamp at CHF 1.00
- International Year of Plant Health – stamp at CHF 0.85
- 100 years Swiss Federation of livestock farming of the Hérens breed – stamp at CHF 1.00
- 125 years Swiss Football Association – stamp at CHF 1.00
- 100 years Pro Infirmis – stamp at CHF 1.00 + CHF 0.50 surcharge
- 2000 years Solothurn town – stamp at CHF 1.00
- 900 years Engelberg Monastery – stamp at CHF 1.00