Neopost Webenabled Stamps were being hoarded as mint sheets while the 4-count stamp sheets were being produced (June 2001 - June 2002). In February 2002, an opportunity presented itself to obtain a cancellation theme on multiple envelopes and postcards. The above links provide pictures of the Winter Sports Pictorial Cancellations on the Neopost Webenabled 34c stamps. These cancellations commemorate the winter sport events, activities, and locations during the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games. They were originally 22 different pictorial cancellation.
On February 8, 2002 the Olympic Partners (what I call P15) was added. This is reflected in the 02-21-02 United States Postal Service (USPS) Bulletin. It is also reflected in the copy of a fax from my local post office (see picture at right). P15 was the 23rd cancel added to the Winter Sport Cancellation series.
On March 1, 2002, the Olympic Paralympics cancellation was offered. This is reflected in the 02-21-02 USPS Bulletin. I believe that this cancellation is not part of the Winter Short Pictoral Cancellation series, since this event did not occur during the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
The USPS applied the pictorial cancellation and overwrap. The USPS returned the overwrapped envelope (or postcard) to the addressee. This service was free. Collectors had until March 10, 2002 to make a request for the cancellations.
My requests with the Neopost Stamps set was made when the Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games were still in progress. The used sheets were also saved and are part of this collection.
A single set was originally requested. A few days later 2 more sets were requested. Days before the 2002 Olympics games ended, the last 2 were requested. The last request also included sets of ten P11, ten P17, and ten P18. Each of the 5 individual sets of 23 was distinctly addressed (to home address on envelope, to home address on postcard, to PO Box, to wife, to son, with return address, without return address, etc...). The stamps were also uniformly placed (approximately at same location) on the sets to identify them differently from each other and from from the sets of P11s, P17s, and P18s.
The results of the cancellation request were not perfect. Of the 5 sets requested, only one complete set was made (of the desired 23 different cancellations). The complete set matches the fax of the USPS Cancellation instructions. The pictures in the link on the top of this page are of this set (addressee is Mr. Wesley E. Gomez).
Two sets have P13 replaced with a different cancellation (Salt Lake City 2002 Paralympics). It is highly likely that my request was processed on or after March 1, 2002 (includes the Paralympics cancellation and making each of my requests short by one envelope/postcard).
One set has two P5s in the same overwrap (all 23 postcards were returned).
The last set netted the worst results. Of the 23 postcards sent, only 20 were returned. The missing postcards are P5, P7, and P13. In addition, the P9 postcard was returned in a larger overwrap.
The set of ten P11, P17, and P18 were all returned.
The Neopost TM 4-count sheets were in a developmental stage of testing when these covers were made. The kiosk, its software, its printer, and the adhesive paper were being integrated to produce and despense the best Neopost TM product. Various changes occured during this integration process and can be seen in the sheets.
The number of kiosks that produced the 4-count sheets were limited. The kiosks were also not accessible to the general public (and to collectors), therefore collector generated items are extremely rare. Also, the stamps were being hoarded as sheets by a few individuals and were not being used. As an introduction to stamp collecting, I experimented in creating covers franked with the Neopost TM stamps. The Winter Sport Cancellation was my fourth attempt to produce covers franked with the Neopost TM Webenabled stamps.
The Winter Sport Cancellations sets of ten P11, P17, and P18 were also randomly sold on eBay TM. To date, the following have been sold on eBay TM or private sale: three P11, two P17, and five P18. These lucky owners are the only collectors with Winter Sport Cancellations on Neopost stamps from the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics. All remaining covers are in my collection.
My Winter Sport Cancellation collection is the largest holding of covers with the Neopost TM Webenabled 34c Stamps. The rarest cover from my Winter Sport Cancellation collection is the P13 (only two were ever made).
I believe that I also have the largest holding of used Neopost TM 4-stamp sheets.
I consider the Paralympics cancel not part of the Winter Sport Collection since the USPS authorized its use on March 1 (days after the Winter Olympics ended) and the Paralympics did not occur while the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games were in progress. However, only two of these cancellation exists on the Neopost TM Webenabled 34c stamps.
Update: April 12, 2003. After a partial review of the collection I have found that the majority of these covers have the Light Blue Flag. However, I have located several Blue Flag stamps among the covers. A review of the used sheets indicated that I used a single sheet dated Jan 9, 2002 (remaining flag area on the used sheet is blue), all other used sheets are light blue. It is possible that the maximum number blue stamps in my collection is 4. An entire review of the collection is in progress.