The Olympic Philately, Numismatic and memorabilia Commission is responsible for advising the IOC on the dissemination of the Olympic ideal through the worldwide promotion of stamps, coins and items commemorating the Olympic Games.
Stamps at the origin
Collecting items commemorating the Olympic Games started with the first Games of the modern era in 1896.
Olympic stamps, issued to balance the budget of the Organising Committee, were the first objects of Olympic collecting, and have been the passion of several generations of philatelists. Collectors of Olympic memorabilia soon joined stamp collectors and, in 1951, when Olympic coins were struck for the first time, coin enthusiasts also entered the world of Olympic collectors.
Olympic collectibles have always fascinated Olympic fans, parallel to the social-sport explosion of the Olympic Games. In the early days, Olympic collectibles were not really linked to the Movement itself. This changed rapidly and they became part of an Olympic culture, part of its history and its art. Olympic collectibles also contributed to promoting the Olympic ideal - both locally and internationally.