Athletes - How to get your cushion

Update October 2012

Now the Olympic and Paralympic Games have finished for 2012 all the cushions made have been distributed to athletes and teams.  However if any athletes would still like a cushion we do have some volunteers who would make one on request.  The best way to do this is to post a message in the Woolsack Facebook Group, or you can email Woolsack and your message will be posted in the Facebook group for you.

Original invitation to athletes

To all athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.

We would like to welcome you to the Games and to the UK with a personal gift of a Woolsack cushion (pillow) made of British wool - a little bit of Britain to take home with you. These have been made for you by people of all ages and backgrounds throughout the UK as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. 

Many people have purchased their own British wool fibre or yarn to make their cushion, although we are also enormously grateful for donations of British wool knitting yarn, and of fleece from British farmers, so that no one has been excluded from the project by reason of cost.

Many have designed their cushion themselves so every cushion is unique.  We have photographed a selection of them which you can see on the website, but it is not possible to order a cushion or specify a design.  We may be able to meet a colour preference but only if a cushion of that colour is already available.

You can read a summary of the project here.

Quick summary of how to get your cushion - email athletes@woolsack.org

All you have to do is contact us!  Very simple, and the cushions are gifts and all free to Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

More information below about the process and the project, but all you or your team or country needs to do is get in touch with us by email.

We had hoped that those of you who would like a cushion would be able to choose one, from a selection, at the Villages or Training Camps.  As you can read here, this is no longer possible as originally planned.  But we have been so inspired by your efforts to be selected to compete in the Games that we have found other ways to enable you to have a cushion.  Just as you have overcome obstacles and difficulties to be chosen to represent your country, we have found other ways and athletes from around the world are already receiving their Woolsack cushions.

We may no longer be able to contact you through NOC's and NPC's, but you, your sports associations, coaches, officials and NOC's/NPC's are allowed to contact us. 

Statement from LOCOG spokesman 9 June 2012: "We think the Woolsack cushions are great and are happy that they are available to athletes from around the world on request".

Once you have contacted us (athletes@woolsack.org) then we can arrange the best way to get your cushions to you.

There are a number of options which include:

  1. Individual athletes are invited to contact us. (athletes@woolsack.org)
  2. Groups of athletes can get together and contact us and we'll arrange a convenient place in the UK to give you your cushions.
  3. If your coaches and team officials wish, and can arrange it, we can get cushions to you at venues for  international competitions and events in the UK before the start of the Games.
  4. Arranging for cushions to be sent to you at your training camps in the UK, or even to your Village accommodation if your NOC/NPC requests it.
  5. We can post cushions overseas to your NOP/NPC so you can receive your cushions in your own country.

You can contact us at athletes@woolsack.org

All contact with you or your teams will be treated in confidence and with the highest regard for your privacy and security.

The cushions are made entirely of British wool and stuffed with British wool.  This makes them great to sit or lie on, use as a pillow, rest your feet on, or just hug.  They have all been made by volunteers, ordinary people, within the UK who want to give you this special personal gift and many have a personal message from the maker.  You can read more about the people who have made the cushions here.

Wool requires little in the way of care, but the cushions can be washed if necessary.  Full instructions are available here.

The cushions are all unique, many being designed by the maker.  Wherever possible we hope you will have the opportunity to choose, from a selection, a cushion you really like.

You can see photographs of some of the cushions throughout this website.