There were 479 quilts which went to the Olympic Games, Paralympics and Special Olympics, so what is left to do? We have one final presentation to make to an organisation next April, who helped the project enormously. We are continuing our fund raising until then to make a final payment to our photographer, David Matthews, who gave his time free, and we would like to repay his kindness.
After four long years the project A Gift of Quilts is now winding down. We would like to share with you now some of the pictures of quilts being presented to their recipient countries and the 'Thank You's' received from countries, embassies and individuals.
The team was delighted to have been invited to the Olympic Village as guests of the Polish Ambassador to present the Polish Paralympic team with their quilt and to then go on to attend the welcoming ceremony for the athletes. We really felt a part of the Games at that point and all the hard work over the last four years was well worth it to be there on that day.
Jenny's thoughts on the day in the Olympic village
"The musical-themed ceremony kicked off under a resplendent blue sky, with colourfully dressed performers entering the Village square, singing and dancing to Queen's "I Want to Ride My Bicycle". They were followed by the Olympics teams from the countries, marching alongside one another. Street performers entertained the teams and officials, they were introduced to “The Queen”, if they thought they were going to meet the Queen, they were mistaken, a male figure dressed up and riding a chariot carried by other performers paraded around and spoke to ‘her’ people. It was rather bizarre, we thought it a strange sight, I wonder what everyone else made of it but it was entertaining.
The ceremony continued on to the raising of the Olympic flag to the music of the Olympic anthem, which was followed by a welcoming speech by Paralympic Village Mayor, Tony Sainsbury. Tony Sainsbury expressed his enthusiasm for the arrival of the athletes at the Olympic Village and in the city, encouraging athletes to honour their country and achieve the best possible results and his hopes that the teams would be able to bring back to their respective countries long lasting memories of the events to come.
Representatives from each Olympic country came forward in turn to present gifts to the Village Mayor on the podium and they were then invited to stand with him as they watched their national flags being raised to the sound of their national anthems. The representatives were then invited to write a message on the Olympic Truce Wall, which has been erected to reaffirm the commitment to peace of the Olympic Games of ancient Greece, during which all hostilities were suspended.
The teams then mixed, taking photographs of each other, with the performers or to just experience the moment. I was able to meet the Mayor of the Village and present to him a copy of the projects DVD.
Below: Polish Chef de Mission, Monika Maniak-Iwaniszewska, accepts the quilt on behalf of the Polish Paralympic Team
Thank you to all of you who voted for us for the Epic Award. Due to a glitch in their voting system they removed the public vote which was a shame but was being abused by someone who had found a loophope, as it were.
However, both Jenny and I are delighted to be able to tell you that Irene Heathcote and Quilts 4 London Pennants were the winners for England and went to Londonderry on 31st january to receive their award.
Throughout this Olympic summer, over 60 Special Olympics Great Britain athletes and coaches will be celebrated as Torchbearers and Gamesmakers at the Olympic Games. The majority were nominated by their communities, while ten from England, Scotland and Wales were part of Coca-Cola’s Future Flames Torch Relay in Haverfordwest. According to Karen Wallin, Chief Executive of Special Olympics Great Britain: “Special Olympics is the third member of the Olympic family and it means a lot to all of us to be included in this summer of sport in some way. Our Special Olympics World Games are always the year before the Olympics – and its spirit embodies our movement as we represent Great Britain on a global stage, as well as each and every day around the country with our grassroots sports training and competition programme.”Torchbearers will receive a gift from “A Gift of Quilts” which is a Cultural Olympiad Inspire Mark Project.
Press release from Jane Silverman, Special Olympics GB
We have produced a DVD with images of 416 quilts together with a detail view of each one This DVD ROM is designed for use on a PC running Windows; the screens seen will vary with the different versions of Windows.
To order a copy please send a cheque made payable to A Gift of Quilts for the sum of £3 plus 75p postage (£3.75) together with your details to A Gift of Quilts, 6 Barrow Hill, Goodworth Clatford, Hants SP11 7RG.
A GIFT OF QUILTS is an entirely self-funded project supported by The Quilters' Guild as part of the Cultural Olympiad.
We are proud to have been awarded the "Inspire Mark" given to official projects within the Clutural Olympiad 2012.