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Living images on Alpine Skiing stamps

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The new stamp year in Finland begins on 24 January. On that date a miniature sheet will be issued bearing a total of 11 different 1st class non-value indicator stamps. Also issued on the same day will be two sets of stamps, one with 3 stamps denominated 5 cents and another with three 10 cent stamps. All these issues will have something new, never before seen on Finnish stamps.

The miniature sheet dedicated to Alpine skiing has an illusion of movement thanks to the imaging and printing technology used. When you turn the sheet in your hands, the picture comes to life. This makes Tanja Poutiainen speed downhill on the slalom stamp. The stamp is in the lower right corner of the miniature sheet. The picture is from the Finnish round of the slalom World Cup in Levi. The 27-year-old skier from Rovaniemi is also shown at speed next to the stamp, on the edge of the stamp sheet. Tanja Poutiainen's achievements also include a silver medal at the Turin Olympics in 2006 and numerous other victories and high placements in world cup championships over a period of years.

The stamp dedicated to snowboarding features a stunning performance by Antti Autti.

The upper left of the sheet shows Matti Raty, a 19-year-old exponent of newschool skiing and a student at the University of Kuopio, strutting his stuff. The stamp shows a 'drop'.

The stamp on the lower left shows Tapio 'Arska' Saarimaki on powder. Saarimaki now lives year-round in the village of Verbier in the Swiss Alps, where he practises cross-country and downhill biking in addition to Alpine skiing. In freestyle, helicopters are sometimes used to take skiers to virgin slopes, and this explains the chopper on the upper edge of the stamp sheet.

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