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Beijing Olympics 2008 10 April 2008

To celebrate the Beijing Olympics, Isle of Man Post Office will issue a miniature sheet of stamps depicting three of the Olympic sports – cycling, horse riding, archery and the Olympic flame on April 21, 2008.

This year sees Beijing hosting the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. Athletes will compete in 302 events in 28 sports, just one event more than was on the schedule of the Athens games of 2004.

With the equestrian events being held in Hong Kong, this marks the second time the same edition of the Olympic Games has been hosted by two National Olympic Committees. The Olympic Games were awarded to Beijing, People's Republic of China on July 13, 2001. The mascots of Beijing 2008 are the five Fuwa, each representing one colour of the Olympic rings. The Olympic slogan, One World, One Dream, calls upon the world to unite in the Olympic spirit.

It’s unprecedented that an Island as small as the Isle of Man is home to such sporting excellence particularly in cycling. Mark Cavendish, who features on one of the stamps, rides for the British Cycling Team and has just won the World Madison Championship with Bradley Wiggins. His debut year as a professional racing cyclist came in 2007 when he took the sport by storm, winning 13 races. The multi-talented rider has already won medals on the track at world level and, without doubt, he is the sportsman to watch over the coming years. He made his track debut for Great Britain in the 2004 Moscow World Cup and as a road cyclist, he has quickly risen to prominence as a sprinter. Cavendish now splits his time living and training between Manchester and Tuscany, Italy.

But it’s not just Cavendish who has a success story; two other Manx cyclists, Peter Kennaugh and Johnny Bellis, are following in Mark’s footsteps and have already made their mark on the international cycling circuit. Mark Christian and Christopher Whorral are part of the Great Britain Cycling Team’s Olympic Development Programme (ODP). A key part of the development of riders who will hopefully one day win medals for their country at Olympic level is to provide a seamless pathway from one programme to the next.

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