The eyes of the world are focused on the 2002 Winter Olympic Games at Salt Lake City, which began Friday.
The U.S. Postal Service has issued a pane of 20 commemorative stamps depicting four popular winter sports Â figure skating, ice hockey, snowboarding and ski jumping.
Canada, known for its domination of many winter sports, has issued four new 48-cent stamps featuring freestyle aerials, women's hockey, curling and short-track speed skating.
In freestyle ski aerial competition, athletes perform various combinations of flips and twists off snow-packed jumps.
Women's hockey has been a strength of the Canadian sports scene for many years. But in the 1998 Games, the U.S. team won the gold medal and the Canadians settled for silver.
Curling is rather new on the Winter Olympics agenda. It was added at the 1998 events in Nagano, Japan.
Short-track speed skating attained full-medal status in 1992. The skaters mass with four to eight skaters on the starting line Â and then fly off on the ice to be eligible for the 3,000 meter final.
Stamps and official first-day covers of the Canadian stamps are available from Canada Post, 2701 Riverside Dr., Suite 141, Ottawa, ON, K1A OB1. Or you can call (800) 565-4362.
The U.S. Winter Olympics stamps can be obtained by calling (800) STAMP-24. U.S. first-day covers remain on sale for at least one year after issuance.