08/08/2012 09:24 EDT | Updated 10/08/2012 05:12 EDT

Stamps of approval: Royal Mail issues stamps for gold-medal winning British athletes

LONDON - Instead of portraits of the queen, Britain is getting kings and queens of sports.

The Royal Mail has been busy paying tribute to the country's Olympians in the last two weeks with special issue stamps for gold medallists . The stamps feature the athlete in an action photo taken as they were competing — and with Britain in third place on the gold medal table, they've been on overdrive printing those new stamps.

The mail has promised to put them on sale within 24 hours of the athlete's victory — and some, like cycling star Bradley Wiggins and heptathlete Jessica Ennis, have proved exceptionally popular.

Stamp enthusiasts worry that collecting is disappearing as a hobby, with everyone using email. They hope the gold stamps will inspire a new generation to take up collecting.