Frej Liewendahl and Åland sports history honoured with a stamp – 100 years since Olympic debut in Paris

Frej Liewendahl och åländsk idrottshistoria hedras med frimärke – 100 år sedan OS-debut i Paris

On 24 July, Åland Post releases a stamp to commemorate one of Åland's first big sports stars, runner Frej Liewendahl. The issue coincides with the Paris Summer Olympics, exactly 100 years after Frej's Olympic debut at the Paris Olympics in 1924. “Sports are a major part of life on Åland. With this stamp, we not only wish to honour an Olympic achievement, but also highlight an exciting piece of sports history," says Johanna Finne, Marketing Design Manager at Åland Post Stamps.

Frej Liewendahl (1902–1966) is often considered Åland’s first great sports star. He had his real breakthrough in Helsinki at the selection races for the 1924 Paris Olympics when he qualified second in the 1 500 meters race behind Finland’s great track and field star Paavo Nurmi, thus obtaining a ticket for the Finnish Olympic team. Despite problems with diseases during the Olympics, he finished eighth in the 1 500-meter final and qualified for the 3 000-meter final, from which he had to abstain due to illness. No other Ålander has since performed as well at an Olympics as Frej.

Illustrator Ezgi Johansson makes her debut as stamp artist with this issue.

“I intuitively knew that I wanted the stamp to exude a sense of traditional painting. It gives the stamp a unique and organic character. My biggest challenge was visualizing the theme as I had few photos of Frej. I really had to use my imagination to create an image of him for the stamp. To enhance the Olympic connection, I came up with the idea of integrating the colours of the Olympic rings into the background,” Ezgi tells us.

Name Olympian Frej Liewendahl
Date of issue 24 July 2024                                                               
Artist Ezgi Johansson
Design Johanna Finne
Edition 40 000
Denomination Inrikes (€2.90)
Price FDC €3.90
Stamp size 35 x 35 mm
Sheet size 2 × 15 stamps
Paper 110 g/m2
Perforation 13 per 2 cm
Process 4-colour offset
Printer Cartor Security Printers

Order the stamp and first day cover  at, by post to Åland Post Stamps, P.O. box 1100, AX-22111 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland, e-mail or telephone: +358 18636639.

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