The evolution of volunteers at the Olympic Games
Ana Belén Moreno Centre d'Estudis Olímpics i de l'Esport, UAB, Spain
Co-authors: Miquel de Moragas and Raúl Paniagua
The basic research for this paper was done with assistance from the DGICYT and the CSD of
the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture and Sport, Spain
This paper sets out to consider the phenomenon of voluntary activity in the Modern Olympic
We will consider the development of the concept of Olympic volunteer from the first Games of
the modern era up to the present day. It will show that, although the concept of the volunteer
began to be more clearly defined in the eighties and nineties, in practice it can be traced back
to the very first Olympic Games of the Modern Era founded by Pierre de Coubertin.
Our work comprised systematic analysis of the Official Reports of each Olympic Games, both
winter and summer, up to the present day, and also a survey of the Olympic bibliography. An
effort has been made to attain direct evidence from the participating volunteers themselves,
although this of course was only possible in the case of Olympic Games after and including
The basic questions we posed ourselves at the outset were the familiar ones, what, who,
how, when and why. What was the concept of volunteer in existence in the context of each
Games? Who were the Olympic volunteers over the years? When did volunteer work exist in
the Games and what did it consist of? How did they become volunteers? How were they
recruited and trained and what planning took place? and why did the individuals involved
decide to become Olympic volunteers?
These questions have to be addressed from a historical perspective, that is, through study of
the intrinsic evolution of the Olympic Games and the increase in their popularity and in the
level of popular expectation surrounding them, especially over the last twenty years. They
must also be viewed in the context of the external social and political changes which have
taken place in the eventful history of our 20th century.
The concept of the Olympic volunteer
In previous work, other specialists have defined and contextualised the concept of social
volunteer. It has also become clear that the concept of volunteer differs widely in accordance
with social and cultural differences and the nature of the volunteers themselves (religious and
political convictions, sports and health factors, etc.), however, it is still possible to establish a
number of basic points in common:
- Voluntary commitment: that is individual, non-obliged commitment.
- Altruism: a lack of monetary reward, non-profit motivation.
- Social contribution: the task contributes in some way to society, it is socially useful.
That is, being a volunteer involves a commitment to act based on a free personal decision
which is motivated by principles of solidarity and altruism. (2)
However, although the volunteer begins with a personal decision, volunteer work is a
manifestation of solidarity which tends to be channelled through organisations, the
latter being non-profit-making bodies. These organisations create settings which harness the
individual's motivation and desire to participate in society and strengthen the sense of
responsibility and cooperation involved in this joint effort. This leads to the formation of social
structures which have the effect of reinforcing civil society.(3)
The Olympic volunteer
The concept of the Olympic volunteer was first defined explicitly in an Olympic glossary
produced as part of the Official Report of the Barcelona Olympic Games 1992: “the volunteer
is a person who makes an individual, altruistic commitment to collaborate, to the best of
his/her abilities in the organisation of the Olympic Games, carrying out the tasks assigned to
him/her without receiving payment or rewards of any other nature." (4)
In the Barcelona Olympic Games then it was made clear that it was the Organising
Committee which was to assign tasks to the volunteers and harness their contribution. This
role of the Organising Committee had first appeared at the Lake Placid Winter Games in
1980, with the creation of a volunteer programme involving some 6,000 volunteers.
At later Games such as those of Los Angeles, Calgary and Seoul, the voluntary element was
to become a basic link in the organisation of the Games. At present, this voluntary element is
seen as vitally bound up with the sustainability of the Games.
However, prior to reaching this explicit definition of modern times, the concept of the Olympic
volunteer went through a process of evolution parallel to that of the development of the social
volunteer and the growing importance of sport. In fact, in modern listings of types of
volunteers, the sports volunteers is an indispensable category.
Like the social volunteer, the sports volunteer sets out to act for the benefit of society, of his
or her own free will, without the aim of economic or other benefits. The aim of this effort may
be improved wellbeing for the community in general, a better quality of life for others, etc. (5)
Organisations capable of harnessing these personal initiatives and undertakings are also
There are sports organisations which include a stable or permanent volunteer element and
others which create groups of volunteers to carry out certain, concrete projects and achieve
given objectives. In both types, the stable volunteer organisation and the occasional one
(which would be the case of the Olympic Games), we must also draw a distinction between
activity carried out within a federation and activity which is outside this sphere.
For example, in a number of national federations, especially those with fewer members,
professional roles are carried out by volunteers. In the early days of the Olympic Movement,
this professional work was also performed on a voluntary basis. Pierre de Coubertin himself,
with the support of friends and the heads of the contemporary sports associations, worked on
a voluntary basis to create the International Olympic Committee and launch the Modern
Olympic Games. (6)
The latest theories on sports volunteers tend to report a slump in voluntary action of the
ongoing, permanent variety, whereas that associated with large-scale events is holding
ground or growing in strength. Other viewpoints, more concerned with voluntary social work,
are striving to define a new concept of volunteer which would be applicable to the present-day
situation and to the foreseeable future over the next 10-15 years.
In any case, the concept of Olympic volunteer has lived through its most glorious epoch in the
decade of the 1990s and Sydney 2000 will undoubtedly be a key Olympics for redefinition of
the concept of Olympic volunteer and for new applications for the future.
Evolution of the concept of Olympic volunteer
The evolution of the Olympic volunteer can be analysed from the perspective of what we have
referred to as the intrinsic structure of the Games themselves and that of external social
changes. We could define four basic stages:
1. From the Olympic Games of Athens 1896 to Berlin 1936. This first phase was
characterised by the anonymous volunteer work carried out in federations and clubs
and in the organisation of the Olympic Games themselves, all in keeping with the
social and educational nature of sport in those years. The main volunteer efforts
came from groups such as the boy scouts and the army.
2. From the London Games of 1948 to Montreal 1976. This phase was marked by the
social and political situation of the times. Most of the Olympic Games held took place
in the industrialised countries which acted as guarantors of the new political, social
and economic dynamic which was being forged in the aftermath of the Second World
War. There were numerous distinctive and particular features in the Games
depending on the organising country (7) and its particular tradition of volunteer and
social work. The overall importance of volunteer work continued to increase, groups
such as the boy scouts and the army were still important, though the increasing
efforts of individuals began to gain momentum.
3. From the Lake Placid Games in 1980 until those of Seoul 1988. This was
undoubtedly the phase in which the present-day model of Olympic volunteer began to
emerge. In the Lake Placid Games, volunteers were incorporated into the Organising
Committee's programme and by the time of Los Angeles their role had become
fundamental. The Games at Sarajevo, Calgary and Seoul were all to embrace the
volunteer element, though from different organisational perspectives.
4. From the Albertville 1992/Barcelona 1992 Games to those of Sydney 2000.
Consolidation of the present-day model of volunteer included in the Organising
Committee and in human resources planning. The ever-growing scale and
dimensions of the Olympic Games - they are now considered to be "mega events" -
undoubtedly leads to an increasingly important role for volunteers in the mega
structure which is necessary, not only for the holding of the Games, but also for their
television coverage or for the parallel cultural programme.
1. The first Olympic volunteers: anonymity
In the early years the Olympic Movement grew thanks to the work of many people who
worked on a voluntary basis to build up a minimum organisational structure. This process took
place parallel to the development of federations in many sports, which also came about due
to the voluntary efforts of the amateurs who formed the first sports clubs.
In Athens 1896, Paris 1900, St. Louis 1904 and London 1908 the word "volunteer" did not
explicitly appear in the Official Reports. Nevertheless, there is no doubting the altruistic
motivation of those who participated in the organisation of the Olympic Games which were
still small in scale and in which family ties and friendships were essential for successful
Volunteer groups: boy scouts and the army
In the early Games, apart from the presence of the army in performing functions given over to
volunteers nowadays, the boy scout movement, officially founded in England by Baden-
Powell in 1907 (8) , also played an important role.
The boy scouts' contribution began at Stockholm 1912 and basically consisted of delivering
messages, maintaining order and safety, helping the public and carrying our various physical
functions, such as carrying flags and replacing obstacles: “there was a number of boy scouts
and Varingian guards under the command of Messrs, B.E. Lithorin and E. Wernström, for the
purpose of giving necessary aid to the public.”(9) This is the first written record of the great
work to be carried out by the scouts in many Olympic Games and also of the Scandinavian
Pierre de Coubertin (10) himself referred to the work done by these boy scouts with this rather
curious observation: “A record: a Swedish woman, Mrs. Versall, had six children who
participated in the Games, the youngest as boy scouts enrolled to maintain order and deliver
messages. This seems rather trivial. However, the IOC gave her a special Olympic medal.
The links of the boy scouts with the Games went further than purely organisational tasks. For
example, an international meeting or jamboree of boy scouts began and was held every four
years, following the Olympic pattern. Until the 1920s, sports competitions and parades of all
those participating were also held at these jamborees. (11)
According to Nikolay Gueorguiev, the contribution of the scouts continued to grow in various
Olympic Games before the Second World War, such as those of Antwerp 1920, Paris 1924,
and, especially, Amsterdam 1928.
The scouts were organised into camps and helped out in providing service to the public and in
ensuring safety. Once again we can refer to Coubertin's "Memories" in which he praised the
spirit shown by the young at the Antwerp Games. (12) Similarly, we also find a reference to
the boy scouts' salute during an official ceremony at the Paris Games of 1924. (13) By the
Chamonix Games, the boy scouts were participating in the opening and closing parades as
At the Berlin Games the boy scouts were replaced by members of the Nazi youth movement,
ideological groupings diametrically opposed to the pacifist, naturalist and fraternal ideals of
Baden-Powell. In fact, in the years previous to 1939, in both Italy and in Germany efforts were
made to disband the scout movement, (14) which was later to play a role in a number of
countries (France, for example) during the war in the resistance movement against
totalitarianism and Nazi occupation.
After World War II, the boy scouts continued to participate in the Olympic Games. In Helsinki
1952, the scouts and other youth organisations played an important role, their main task
being the delivery of messages, though they also did other work: “While the Games were in
progress, 2,191 members of the department (1,617 boys and 574 girls) were engaged in
unpaid work. Of this number, 59 squad leaders and 434 ordinary members sold programmes,
130 worked as ushers and 1,568 were employed as messengers”.(15)
These statistics from Helsinki 1952 were the first explicit mention of female volunteers, even
though the first girl guides had been formed in France in 1912, also along the lines of the boy
scout movement. Without any doubt, female protagonism among the volunteers was to
increase significantly in later Olympics in parallel to their increased presence in civil society
All in all, the Games in which the scouts played the biggest role were those of Melbourne
1956. The Youth Organisations were composed of three blocks: the boy scouts, the girl
guides and the members of the Air Training Corps. All of them worked on a voluntary basis
and performed a variety of different roles. In the case of the scouts, more than 3,500
members participated from November 1955, in return for which they only received meals. (18)
The scouts were present at 90% of the venues and, in all cases, the Arena Managers
expressed their complete satisfaction with their efforts. As mentioned already, at Melbourne
the scouts carried out numerous tasks, such as for example, helping the public and children,
helping the police, reception and attention to distinguished guests and acting as guides for the
delegates from the different sports federations who had congregated in the University of
At the Tokyo Olympic Games of 1964, the spontaneous and indirect help provided by the boy
scouts and other organisations was notable, where they were entrusted with raising the flags
for brief periods of time, both day and night.(17) Once again in Japan, this time in Nagano
1998, the boy scouts played a clearly visible role in a given task the raising of flags at the
The army in back-up roles
As we have already pointed out, the army's participation was also fundamental in the early
years of the Games, though we did not find explicit mention of it in the Official Reports until
the Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Games of 1956, in which the army played an important role.
The Military College collaborated in the ceremonial parades and also in the preparation of the
races by means of material and technical assistance: “Essentially, it [the contribution of the
army] took the form of a technical consultation on the form of organization, the contribution of
manpower for the preparation of the courses, technical and material assistance for the
‘rehearsal’ of the Games, in January and February, 1955, and for the Games themselves a
year later, and a contribution of man-power for the dismantling of the temporary installations”.
The army continued to collaborate in the Games throughout the sixties. At the Squaw Valley
Games in 1960, a number of people participated on a voluntary basis in providing assistance
to athletes and guests, however the army's contribution was also a major help, especially a
core group of men charged with ensuring safety on the downhill races.(20)
In a number of later Games there is continued reference to the role of the army in the
performance of the tasks now most readily associated with volunteers. This was the case, for
example, in the Grenoble Winter Games of 1968 (21) and Innsbruck 1976 (22). At Grenoble,
the organisational work done by the Army came in for great praise. Among their functions was
preparation and maintenance of the facilities and competition sites (the hockey stadium,
bobsleigh track, biathlon, etc.); helicopter transport for the organisers; transport of equipment
for all participating personnel; participation in the ceremonies and background work in
substructure, carparks, etc. For its part, the Austrian navy also provided great help at the
Games eight years later in a way similar to at Grenoble.
However, gradually the army began to carry out more specific tasks concerning security, due
to the increased need for security at the Games in the light of wider conflicts, as evidenced by
the happenings at Munich 1972. Without any doubt, the Games' international dimension and
impact on the media were determining factors in making them the setting for all forms of
political protest (Mexico 1968, Munich 1972, Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul
At present, the army still plays a basic helping role in the organisation of the Olympic Games,
however its profile is relatively lower and it is seen as another integrated governmental
Individual monetary donations
We must also make mention of the voluntary economic donations made by individuals.(23)
While not constituting temporary physical aid (in the sense normally associated with the
volunteer movement), these donations were important in ensuring correct functioning of the
Pierre de Coubertin himself makes reference to these donations in his Memories. He records
how on the occasion of the first Athens Games of 1896 donations were obtained from the
different Greek colonies all around the world to help with running them.(24)
In the case of Antwerp 1920 we find the expression "goodwill" (25) in reference to the origin of
a part of the economic resources, which is evidence that certain people were willing to pay for
the Olympic from their own pockets. Four years later, at Paris 1924, families made a
considerable economic contribution. In concrete terms, the "National Subscription" (26)
amounted to 332,309 Francs, representing 2.5% of total income, 80% of which was made up
of State subventions and ticket sales.
2. Olympic volunteers in the post-war period and the new international
We have already mentioned that during the fifties and sixties the boy scouts and army
continued to provide help, however, slowly but surely individual volunteers began to enlist.
Furthermore, at this time the tasks which needed doing began to diversify quite considerably
and new roles developed, such as attention to the public, competition preparations, spectator
and competitor information, ushers, replacement of obstacles after athletics events,
assistance to the police, interpreting services, etc. Therefore, the tasks performed by
volunteers began to become progressively more integrated into organisational areas and they
began to work side by side with salaried staff, both in the Summer and Winter Games.
At Oslo 1952a number of new developments took place with regard to the roles performed by
volunteers. For example, members of the voluntary groups carried out research and
preparatory work aimed at facilitating a more rigorous preparation of events.(27) Furthermore,
other developments to first appear at Oslo included the role of volunteers in ticket collecting,
crowd monitoring and also technical work in various areas.(28)At the same time, we must
also point out the contribution of the attachés (29) in competition preparations: “a great help
for the Organising Committee in their cooperation with the National Olympic Committees
during preparations, and their work - entirely voluntary, proved fundamental for the smooth
running of the competitions in Norway in 1952”. (30)
In a number of these editions of the Olympic Games, we find volunteers who received
payment; therefore, whether they were actually volunteers or not could be the subject of
discussion. At Helsinki 1952, federations of young volunteers were to the forefront, the
minimum age being 11 years, while the guides were between 16 and 50. These associations
received a single overall payment (3,072,270 Marks between all the volunteers).
Nevertheless, comparatively the first great diversification of functions took place at the
Melbourne Games in 1956, in which we have already mentioned the work done by the boy
scouts and girl guides: “Some 250 Girl Guides volunteered for a service controlled by Miss C.
Broadhurst, Training Adviser for Victoria, chiefly for the women athletes at the Olympic
Village, acting as guides to athletes and official visitors, assisting with shopping and other
activities.” (31) The tasks were numerous: (32) messages, attention to official cars in parking
areas, machine operators, preparation and maintenance of canoes, reception of distinguished
visitors, attention to lost children, distribution of medals to competition areas, aid to camera
crews, etc. It is even recorded that these young volunteers were in charge of opening the
doors of the Duke of Edinburgh's car when he arrived for official functions.
At Rome 1960 and Squaw Valley 1960, individual volunteers continued to work as guides,
interpreters and helpers in various sections of the organisation. A new departure at Squaw
Valley was the role of volunteers in staffing transport services, in addition to other tasks: “A
group of volunteer ladies worked at the San Francisco and Reno Airports. They helped with
customs problems, interpreting and transportation for all incoming members of the Olympic
Furthermore, the Californian volunteers also played the role of guides and took on
maintenance duties at sports facilities, similar to previous Games. The Rome Olympics
marked the first time volunteers worked as announcers, and their continuing role as
interpreters. In this case the selection process was rigorous and only those young people with
the best knowledge of French, English and other languages were chosen, so as to ensure
fluid communication channels with the guests. The press service staff were also helped by
To conclude the decade of the sixties, we must point out the important voluntary role played
by the volunteers at the Mexico Games of 1968. (34)As in previous Games, the volunteers
worked in the Olympic Village reception and information services and helped out in
government and protocol events. However, in Mexico the work performed by the volunteers
fell into one of two categories:
1. Personal assistance for COI members, directors of National Olympic Committees,
members of international sports federations, heads of sporting and cultural
delegations and special guests.
2. General assistance for media representatives and certain members of sports
This division was a reflection of the increasingly specific nature of the voluntary tasks.
The Reports of the Olympic Games of the decade of the seventies do not provide many data
with regard to the volunteers and their role. In fact, the Official Report of the Munich 1972
Games does not include any specific mention of the volunteers, although certain sources (35)
highlight the role of volunteers in the carrying of the Olympic flame. However, the work of
volunteers as interpreters was mentioned in the 1972 Sapporo Games, where they were
available in shops, bus stops and sports locations to help the guests: “As a part of the over-all
arrangements for interpreters for the guests who came to Sapporo from all parts of the globe,
2,128 Sapporites volunteered their services as ‘good will interpreters’, and were stationed at
department stores, shops, bus stops and around the sports venues”. (36) The Organising
Committee for the Montreal 1976 Games managed to practically convert the Games into
another subject on the school curriculum for students, (37) with the result that many young
people participated in the organisational side of the Games and in providing accommodation
and help to the Olympic Family.
The time for the boom of Olympic volunteers was gradually approaching. The world was in
the grips of economic recession brought about by the rise in petrol prices and the Middle
Eastern tensions; the Welfare State, which had developed in the aftermath of the Second
World War, began to be in need of redefinition and in the industrialised countries civil society
began to come up with initiatives to cover the shortcomings of government.
The Olympic Games had also entered a time of crisis when, in 1980, Juan Antonio
Samaranch was elected President of the International Olympic Committee. The "top ten"
programmes, television broadcasting rights and the new considerations of entertainment-
spectacle and participation began to take a hold.
3. The beginnings of the present-day pattern
Lake Placid 1980 was a key point in the historical evolution of the phenomenon of Olympic
volunteers, as was aptly summed up by a sentence in the Official Report: “Without this army
of volunteers, 6,700 strong, the XIII Olympic Winter Games could not have become reality”.
These were volunteers who did not hail from any particular association and did not receive
any kind of compensation or reward and were therefore in keeping with the present-day
concept of volunteer. In addition, their recruitment and training was in accordance with each
individual's capacity in the various sports on the programme.
The Lake Placid organisers paid tribute to the volunteers for "this individual dedication."(39)
The body of volunteers was made up of people from all walks of life: “An army of people was
in Lake Placid during the XIII Olympic Winter Games about whom little was known. It was
comprised of businessmen, students, teachers, homemakers, doctors, lawyers, professors,
senior citizens and teenagers, skiers, hockey enthusiasts, bobsled fans, and skating lovers –
in short, men, women and young people from all walks of life, and from all over the United
States and the world.”(40)
The Lake Placid volunteers worked in all kinds of areas: “The volunteers served as sport
officials and organizers, as messengers and marshalls and mailers, as clerks, collators and
crowd-controllers, as typists and timing officials, as judges and juries. They were unknown to
the world because they worked behind the scenes, helping to ensure that the dozen days of
skiing, skating, shooting, and sledding went smoothly”. (41)
They worked long hours, they received a uniform, accommodation, meals and an official
certificate, but the most important thing for them was the feeling that they were an essential
part of the Olympic Games. In addition, the volunteers with foreign language skills played an
important role in a wide range of different tasks and areas. (42)
The pattern established at Lake Placid was maintained by the following Games, especially
after Sarajevo in 1984. At Moscow, the Organising Committee received help from volunteers,
(43) who helped out in certain tasks in the Olympic Village, the sports complexes, the Main
Press Centre, the hotels, restaurants and service establishments. However, the spirit of
altruistic collaboration and solidarity which marked the Lake Placid Games, and the wide
range of tasks performed by the volunteers were all too absent from the communist rigidity of
the Moscow Games.
Four years later at Sarajevo 1984, the definitive resurgence of Olympic volunteerism was to
occur. After a rigorous selection process, 4,000 young volunteers were chosen and carried
out their work as messengers and interpreters in a completely voluntary capacity. “Amateurs
performed their tasks free of charge, and the only rewards were the official uniforms and free
food. The volunteer spirit reflected the attitude of Yugoslav and Sarajevo youth towards the
XIV OWG, and numerous praises were addressed to them for their work.” (44)
The majority of documents on the phenomenon of Olympic volunteers however, do not
consider Lake Placid as the starting point of the modern volunteer, instead this honour is
assigned to Los Angeles. At Los Angeles, the phenomenon was to appear in all its strength,
consolidated and organised, in the form of approximately 30,000 volunteers who helped out in
a great range of tasks: competition assistance, health, press, accompanying delegations and
individuals, public relations, accreditation services, technology and telecommunications,
transport, access control, catering, finances, administration and others. (45) At the same time
there was a special department of volunteers, (46) which played a role in the 25 sub-
committees into which the Games were divided. Nevertheless, as pointed out by Clapés
(1995: 2), it must be remembered that the reasons underlying the Organising Committee's
decision to rely on the volunteers was clearly an economic one, since at first there was a
marked reluctance to do so. So while it is true that Los Angeles marked a key moment in the
history of Olympic volunteerism, in terms of the number of volunteers and the range of tasks
performed by them, it is also true that the underlying motivation was more materialistic than at
other Games, such as Sarajevo and Lake Placid.
After the 1984 Games, the functions of the volunteers were relatively well defined and they
were to vary very little over subsequent Olympics. New developments included participation in
art festivals by the volunteers and their inclusion in opening and closing ceremonies, thus
commemorating the work of the young people at Saint Moritz 1924.
Popular participation was firmly consolidated at Calgary 1988. The solidarity and non-profit
motivation were clearly reflected in the popular support for these Games, and they were to
serve as a source of inspiration for future Olympic volunteers. (47) Those who participated
were an extremely varied group, including students (48) and also the retired and the elderly,
in the best Canadian tradition (Clapés, 1995: 2).
4. The present-day Olympic volunteer: the volunteer boom
The phenomenon of the present-day Olympic volunteer, motivated personally and as an
individual, became consolidated after 1992. The Albertville, Barcelona, Lillehamer, Atlanta
and Nagano Games are definitive confirmations of the growing importance of the volunteer
phenomenon as a reflection of individual commitment to the success of the Games, without
any hope or desire for monetary reward, and this consolidation will be further confirmed at the
upcoming Sydney Games. (49)
It must also be pointed out that the Games themselves have taken on vast new dimensions
as "mega-events" and have undoubtedly become the most important event in the international
sports calendar. The numbers of participants, both athletes and media people, have spiralled
and in this new setting the role of volunteer too has acquired new dimensions, having been
incorporated into the structure and overall plan in an organised way.
Evolution of the numbers of volunteers
Los Angeles 1984 28,742
Seoul 1988 27,221
Barcelona 1992 34,548
Atlanta 1996 60,422
Sydney 2000 50,000*
Lake Placid 6,703
Sarajevo 1984 10,450
Calgary 1988 9,498
Albertville 1992 60,422
Lillehammer 1994 9,054
Nagano 1998 32,579
Now, in the case of the present-day volunteer, perhaps we could consider in more detail
certain of the questions which we mentioned at the outset, i.e. how and why?
Different forms of recruitment and motivation: state-promoted, association-based and
The individual's decision to become an Olympic volunteer can take place in a number of
different personal contexts, but also in a certain social context. A study of the recruitment
methods employed over the years by various Olympic Games allows us to conclude that
there are three clearly differentiated models:
This system began at the Berlin Games in 1936 and was also employed by other Games
such as those of Moscow 1980, Seoul 1988 and even London 1948 (although with obvious
In these Games, the organisational challenges were presented as those of the entire nation
and state structures were harnessed to guarantee success and convert the Games into a
motive for patriotic pride. At Berlin 1936, the Nazi's use of the Games for propaganda
purposes was evident, and the organisation of the Games was intrinsically bound up with the
political situation in Hitler's Germany.
At London 1948, the objective was different but there were similarities in that the Games were
taken as an opportunity for the British people to offer a show of strength in the aftermath of
the Second World War. The Moscow 1980 Games were run in a country ruled by a
communist dictatorship. In the case of Seoul 1988, a speech given by the President of the
Organising Committee, Roh Tae-woo, on 30 September 1985 was as follows:
“I hope that our people will also join in the volunteer services in the firm belief that this is an
honourable role to play to bring them rewards, and to bring glory to the fatherland. (...)
Needless to say, the Seoul Olympic Games represent an unrivalled chance for us to enjoy in
our time, and to stage the Games successfully represents a historic mission all of us should
strive to fulfil. By fully carrying out this historic mission through pooling national wisdom and
energy, let us make this period in our history be remembered as a “glorious time” and let us
be chronicled as the generation that did its utmost for the brilliant tomorrow of the
This pattern is the most frequently occurring throughout the history of the Games. We could
even say that it was the form employed in the beginnings of the Olympic Movement. The aim
is to harness the already existing associational networks at local, national and even family
level. Of course, in the Olympic Games held throughout the early years of the 20th century,
these networks were more limited than nowadays and their interconnections were different
(the interconnections often being state-based as in the previously described system).
At the Atlanta Games, the ACOG announced in April 1992 that it would form an "Olympic
Force" (51) made up of civil, community and business groups from Georgia, who were willing
to make a commitment to the community beyond the level of their usual activities. The Atlanta
Games press officer praised the public reaction and even went as far as to claim that it was
unprecedented in Olympic history: “Volunteer recruitment follows a four-year program that
promoted community volunteerism leading up to the Games. More than 1,600 groups –
everything from hiking clubs and professional societies to cultural organizations and garden
clubs—joined the ACOG led Olympic Force, which undertook annual service projects. The
effort represents the first time the Olympic Games have been used to encourage volunteerism
and an unprecedented collaboration among a diverse, active assembly of Georgia citizens.”
C. Through individual citizens
This was the pattern which was most widely used over the decade of the nineties and which
presently co-exists alongside the association-based system for the upcoming Games in
Sydney and Salt Lake City.
At Barcelona 1992, unlike other Games, the volunteer recruitment campaign actually began
before it was officially confirmed that the city was to host the Olympics. For this reason, the
explosion of public joy and celebration which greeted the official announcement of
Barcelona's selection as host city was the culmination of five year's growing popular support.
Indeed, Barcelona is one of the few if not the only case in which the Games led to the
formation of volunteer associations after the holding of the Games.
The Olympic Family itself paid homage to the enthusiasm and commitment of Barcelona's
citizens as a factor which marked the city's candidature out from others. The recruitment
campaign closed in December 1986 with a total of 102,000 volunteers signed up, which
shows the extent to which the local public was prepared to get involved, since previous
Games had required much more time to assemble far fewer volunteers.
The volunteer statistics which were drawn up for the first time at Albertville 1992 showed that
the majority of volunteers were local citizens. The same conclusions were drawn from the
statistics at Barcelona and Lillehammer and later at Atlanta and Nagano.
On 15 October last, The Salt Lake Tribune ran an article on volunteers for the 2002 Winter
Olympic Games: “Community volunteers will manage venues during the 2002 Games under a
Salt Lake Organizing Committee plan designed to involve Utahns intimately in the Olympics.
... “The Community will create the Olympic experience for visitors,” Romney said of the “Our
Town, Your Town” program. And in doing so, it will generate not only lifelong memories for
the volunteer corps but also skills that could be utilized after the Games, when Utah is likely to
be a regular stop on the international sports circuit.”
These three models are not of course mutually exclusive. Indeed, the majority of Games held
over the last twenty years have employed various combinations of all three, though usually
with one system predominating, whether for consciously chosen reasons or not.
The motivation of the Olympic volunteers
The characteristics of the various models employed are closely linked with the individual and
social motivation of the Olympic volunteers, and we can outline a range of basic motivations:
- The spirit of solidarity and peace enshrined in the Olympic philosophy,
- Commitment as citizens, members of an association or nation,
- Individual challenge,
- Belonging to a group,
- Identification as a member of that group,
- The various forms of individual gratification,…
Of course, there may exist other more personal forms of motivation, but one of the most
frequent in recent Games has been that of belonging to a team. At Calgary, Albertville and
Lillehammer, to mention just three, the volunteers were officially part of a "Team".
Present-day volunteers are conscious of their special circumstances in the organisation of the
Olympic Games, and furthermore they are proud of their role as volunteers.
The introduction of such identifying features as uniforms, badges, accessories and other
features has strengthened the feeling of belonging to a group and collective participation.
Undoubtedly, the uniform in particular has contributed greatly to this feeling of group identity.
We first find evidence of the introduction of identifying features for groups involved in the
organisation of the Games, including the volunteers, in the sixties and seventies, and the
uniforms returned to popularity in the Games held in eighties. However, they had been used
previously and, for example, in the Berlin Games of 1936 “the interpreters had flag pins in
their lapel to identify them all over the city.”
Having now described the Olympic volunteers, who they were over the years, how they did it,
when and why they decided to do it, perhaps we could now go somewhat beyond these
questions and seek to draw conclusions from our study of Olympic history.
The new scale and dimensions: the challenge and limits of gigantic success (53)
The increased participation and media impact of the Games has led to new dimensions which
should be examined in terms of the present-day sustainability of the Olympic Games on a
What Liz Burns referred to as the gigantic success of the social volunteer phenomenon also
occurred in the case of Olympic volunteerism. Sydney will have up to 50,000 volunteers and
this figure will undoubtedly go on increasing in future Games. There is no doubt a challenge
to be faced, but surely there are also limits.
The increase in the number of tasks which need carrying out at the Olympic Games, in
addition to the actual organisational work itself, has led to the need for increasingly specific
training programmes, and a range of different models have been employed in some of the
more recent Games. (54)
The training of the volunteers began to gain in importance in the eighties, although there had
been some notable precedents in earlier years. After the Second World War the first notable
incidences of volunteer training took place at the Helsinki Games of 1952. Four years later, at
Melbourne 1956, a number of training initiatives were also put in place and the 3,500 boy
scouts received instruction in the ideal of the “Olympic Good Turn”, although we cannot yet
speak of a specific training programme but rather of simple instructions on how best to carry
out their roles.
In contrast, the Rome 1960 Games did establish a training course for the young volunteers,
with the aim of selecting the most suitable candidates. And the 1960 Mexico Games marked a
major advance as far as training for volunteers was concerned. (55) The Games held in the
seventies scarcely provided any training for the volunteers, indeed we can only mention the
courses for voluntary interpreters at the Sapporo Games in 1972. Again the Lake Placid
Games marked a key point in the evolution of the phenomenon of Olympic volunteers. The
6,703 volunteers were distributed throughout the different sports and organisational locations
according to their skills and experience. In this way, each specific area was able to work with
its own volunteers and the Games were prepared for well in advance: “The volunteers were
brought to Lake Placid for orientation well in advance of the Olympic Games. As an example,
ice hockey minor officials, timers, goal judges, penalty keepers assembled in Lake Placid in
September of 1978 (a year and a half before the Games) for a weekend of meetings with
representatives from security, press, medical, etc." (56) Throughout the summer of 1978 the
various sports committees organised instructional talks and meetings for the volunteers.
The 1984 Games also included training programmes for the volunteers. Both Sarajevo and
Los Angeles incorporated a range of training courses aimed at ensuring optimum organisation
and preparation of the Games.
Like Lake Placid, the Sarajevo general programme included basic knowledge of the region's
geography and social and political history, with special emphasis on the principles of
socialism. All this would constitute what we now consider to be general training for volunteers.
At the same time, there was also specific instruction on the general organisation and
technology in use at the Games, as well as on Bosnia-Herzegovina's sporting tradition.
The Los Angeles Games of 1984 also included a range of training plans for the Olympic
volunteers. And by the Calgary Games (57) there was a synthetic plan for the education,
training and location of all volunteers. Training (58) included a general element and also
professional development and specific training for each of the locations for the Games. The
general programme provided volunteers with an introduction to the Olympic Movement.
Manual training and a series of videos facilitated the volunteer's training process. The specific
training was focused on the different sporting fields, and provided them with the basic
concepts to enable them to carry out their role successfully. This final training phase started in
January 1988 and was the culmination of a training programme that had begun in 1985. All of
this guaranteed that "Team 88" was fully prepared for their role as volunteers.
In Seoul, like in Los Angeles, previous experience (in the Asian Games) was a fundamental
part in the preparation of the volunteers for the Olympics. It is also worth pointing out that of
111,144 initial applications, 99,031 had already participated as volunteers in the Asian
Games. As a result, the SLOOC decided to fill half the available staff roles with volunteers
(eventually, the figure rose to 55%), with the purpose of increasing public participation and
reinforcing the sense of national unity. To summarise, volunteer training was made up of
three basic courses: a culture course, another on tasks and functions and finally, a practical
The Barcelona Olympics marked a milestone in the area of volunteer training. Volunteer
recruitment started in 1986, several months before the city's actual nomination as Olympic
host. To guarantee effective preparation, separate basic and specific training programmes
were run. (59) The courses had a twofold purpose: firstly, to provide training and motivation to
achieve optimum collaboration, and secondly, to serve as a selection process.
In the first Winter Games of the nineties, the volunteer training programmes were also
noteworthy.(60)Similar to the Summer Games in Barcelona, (61) Albertville also ran a general
training programme based on video, computer learning techniques, a 170-page book (Le
Partage de l’exploit) and three editions of the magazine Équipe 92. For specific training,
attention was paid to the actual tasks the volunteers would have to perform in each
competition area or role.
The Lillehammer and Atlanta Games did not bring any new developments in the area of
volunteer training. Emphasis continued to be laid on general knowledge of the Olympic
Movement, the Organising Committee, the traits of the host country, the protocol and
designated secondary locations. More specific tasks were prepared in accordance with the
skills and abilities of the individual volunteer. Especially worthy of mention was the special
attention paid to foreign language, technology and media skills in the Nagano Games.(62)
However, what has become increasingly clear over recent Games is the growing need for
high-level professional training in many spheres, especially in the field of new information
technologies and languages.
In the light of the huge boom in the numbers of volunteers, anything less than adequate
training represents a risk. The scale of the present-day Games is giving rise to numerous new
demands which constitute a major challenge for organisers. For this reason, in Sydney the
volunteer programme has been linked to the Faculties of Communication Science, and in Salt
Lake City, a similar system is being employed: “The university hopes to get involved in
language training for volunteers and interns and help train students who will work international
These developments may lead to a change of expectations among Olympic volunteers.
Remuneration and benefits
In the first Olympic Games and also in the present-day ones, the main reward for volunteers
lies in the personal sphere, in the fulfilment of personal goals through carrying out the
assigned tasks and functions within the framework of a macro-organisation.
In addition to these "moral" rewards, there are others of a more material nature, such as the
right to attend certain events and other advantages arising from being a member of the
organisation, or a the award of a special medal or certificate. The volunteers programme for
the 2002 Salt Lake City Games specifies: "The volunteer recognition program includes a
certificate of participation, special lapel pin, watch (courtesy of Olympic timing sponsor Seiko),
two tickets to the dress rehearsal of Opening Ceremonies and a volunteer uniform". (64)
However, with the changing requirements for volunteers, the rewards have also undergone
changes, and are moving closer to the terrain of professionalism. Participation in the
organisation of the Olympic Games may also be seen as an opportunity to gain professional
experience which could count when later seeking employment, or the Games could also be
seen as serving as the source of highly useful contacts.
Another consideration is that if students are employed to carry out highly technical and
professional functions this may also add to their expectations.
These developments are currently the subject of debate and study as part of the effort to
prepare the role of volunteers for the next millennium.
Sports volunteers, including Olympic volunteers, provide an example of solidarity and selfless
work, not only for the organisation and administration of the Olympic Games, but also for
promotion of the spirit of service and solidarity in our present-day society as a whole.
The importance of the Olympic volunteer movement lies in the following:
- From the political point of view, it represents the uniting of individual energies into a
common project, a new form of participation and the expression of a great public
- From the economic point of view, the Olympic volunteers lead to a major reduction in
salary costs and, if adequate training is provided, the result could be a more-highly
- From the cultural point of view, volunteerism involves basic education in multi-
culturalism and solidarity.
In the early part of the 20th century, the volunteers were members of associations (such as
the boy scouts, for example) which provided a service in response to social needs.
Nevertheless, nowadays volunteers sign up on individual initiative for projects such as world
and national championships, the Olympic Games, and others, in which they then become
grouped into new associations providing channels for public participation.
There are at present a number of issues which demand consideration:
- The distinction between volunteer and/or intern, students on work experience
programme and salaried staff. These roles tend to be confused all too often. A
number of sociologists claim that this confusion is positive and that in the future
volunteerism will be a training option for the unemployed, a source of work
experience for the young and a second career for the retired. However, at present the
situation is still unclear. (65)
- The training required by these volunteers is increasingly specialised in nature. Some
hold that professionalisation of sports volunteers "is necessary as a result of the
super-specialisation affecting all aspects of our society and also the growing demand
among the public for high-quality service, now that the purely quantitative phase has
been completed).” (66)
Furthermore, we must also consider (although all too briefly) the volunteers for the Para-
Olympic Games. We should ascertain the characteristics of these volunteers over the
relatively shorter history of the Special Olympics and what the training needs are for these
There can be no doubt however, that we must reassess the overall situation, all the more so
given the new dynamics of our information society technologies. The Internet provides a
unique opportunity for the creation of an information and experience-sharing network for
sports and Olympic volunteers.
The new technologies are "an alternative channel for development of society's economy:
1. As an extra-territorial framework for action which would permit international promotion of
activities taking place on the local scale.
2. As a low-cost supplementary aid in the exploration of ways of connecting with the market
and resources. As a new way of amplifying actions which facilitate collaboration among
volunteers on a scale higher than the local one and in what is known as a network". (67)
The concept of Olympic volunteer and all its intrinsic characteristics arising from the huge task
of organising the Games, must also be sieved through this new social dynamic.
1. Gann, Nigel. Managing Change in Voluntary Organizations: A Guide to Practice.
Buckingham: Open University Press, 1996.
2. See Congrés Europeu del Voluntariat. Sitges, 10, 11 i 12 desembre 1998. Barcelona :
Generalitat de Catalunya, 1999, 221p.
4. COOB’92. Memoria Oficial de los Juegos Olímpicos de Barcelona 1992. Barcelona :
COOB’92, 1992, Vol.1, p.381.
5. See Apuntes, I Jornadas sobre formación de voluntarios: desarrolladas en Málaga, los días
del 28 al 30 de septiembre de 1995. Málaga : Instituto Andaluz del Deporte, 1997, nº 350,
6. See Coubertin, Pierre de. Memorias Olímpicas. Lausanne: IOC, 1997.
7. This was a period of little diversity as far as choosing the host country for the Summer or
Winter Games was concerned. They can easily be classified: Scandinavian countries
(Helsinki and Oslo 1952), Italy (Cortina d’Ampezzo 1956 and Rome 1960), Germany (Munich
1972), Austria (Innsbruck 1964 and 1976), Japan (Tokyo 1964 and Sapporo 1972), Australia
(Melbourne 1956) and Canada (Montreal 1976).
8. Baden-Powell was an English army officer who had participated in a number of campaigns
in colonial Africa. Among his military experiences was the time when he organised the
"Mafeking boys" of 12 years of age, for completion of all the secondary tasks in the besieged
city, including work as porters, messengers, etc. in short, anything in which their presence
and extreme care and attention freed the adult men for the task of defence. These boys were
the forerunners of the boy scouts. See Effenterre, Henri van. Historie du Scoutisme. Paris:
Presses Universitaires de France, 1963.
9. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE V OLYMPIAD, (ed.), The Official Report of the
Olympic Games of Stockholm 1912. Stockholm : Walhstrom & Wilstrand, 1913, p.228.
10. Coubertin, Pierre de. Mémoires Olympiques. Laussane: Comité Internacional
11. Effenterre, Henri van. Op. cit. p.56, 86, 87.
12. Coubertin, Pierre de. Memorias Olímpicas. Lausanne : Comité Internacional Olympique,
1997, p.180. Coubertain pointed out the dedication of the young as one of the highlights of
the 1920 Games.
13. Comité Olympique Français. Les Jeux de la VIII Olympiade. París : Comité Olympique
Français, 1924, p.69.
14.“Mussolini tried to enlist the scouts en bloc into the Ballila, but Pope Pius XI responded by
dissolving the Scout Association and thus avoiding its forced enlistment into a political
organisation (...). On the threshold of the War, this hostility of the totalitarian regime towards
the scout movement was increasingly clear in its manifestation.” Effenterre, Henri van. Op. cit.
15. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR XV OLYMPIAD HELSINKI 1952, (ed.),The Official
report of the XV Olympiad Helsinki 1952. Pootovo: Werner Soderstrom Osakeyhtio, 1955,
16. “The Boy Scouts’ Association, whose Deputy Chief Commissioner”, Colonel A.G. Oldham,
acted as a co-ordinator of the Youth Organization, put 3,500 members into the “Olympic Good
Turn”, for which it proffered its services as early as November, 1955. In general, districts were
asked to provide services at various venues and special sections. The scouts paid their own
fares but were given meals wherever this was practicable. Volunteers were expected to give
at least two days; most made themselves available much longer. The first scouts were
rostered at the Village six weeks before the Games began. Eventually, while the Games were
in progress, 500 were on duty every day”
ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE XVI OLYMPIAD, (ed.), The Official Report of the
Organizing Committee for the Games of the XVI Olympiad, Melbourne 1956. Melbourne :
W.M. Houston, Govt. Printer, 1958, p.94.
17. ORGANIZING COMMITEE OF THE GAMES OF THE XVIII OLYMPIAD TOKYO 1964,
The Games of the XVIII Olympiad Tokyo 1964: official report. Tokyo : the Committee, 1966, p.
18. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF THE VII OLYMPIAD 1956, (ed.), The Official Report of
the Organizing Committee for the Games of the XVI Olympiad, Melbourne, 1956. Melbourne:
W.M. Houston, Govt. Printer, 1958, p.354. [pp. 352-353 include photographs of the army in
19. Ibid., p.86 (“Within the limitations of personnel and material resources that might be
available, complete and extended medical care would be rendered to the visiting athletes and
officials free of charge. Care would also be given all employees and voluntary workers gratis
20. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF THE VIII OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES SQUAW VALLEY
1960, (ed.), VIII Olympic Winter Games, Squaw Valley, California, 1960 : final report.
Sacramento: California Olympic Commission, 1960, p.84.
21. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF THE X OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES GRENOBLE 1968,
X th Olympic Winter Games Grenoble 1968 : official report. Grenoble : the Committee, 1969.
22. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF THE XII OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES INSBRUCK 1976,
Final rapport: XII Olympic Winter Games Innsbruck 1976. Innsbruck : the Committee, 1978,
23. Patrice Cholley, member of the documentation team at the Olympic Museum of
Lausanne, considers that the monetary contributions made by families to the holding of the
Games in their city is worthy of note. Faced with the lack of documentary evidence of the
motivations of these "monetary volunteers", Cholley can only highlight these donations and
their voluntary nature..
24. “Two enthusiasts, Romanos, the Greek chargé d'affaires and Constantin Manos, a
student at Oxford, were drumming up support and funds among the British colony." (...) “Was
it not true that even the Monte Athos friars, separated from the motherland by a painful
frontier, had been seen to send their donation for the holding of the Games?”. See Coubertin,
Pierre de. Op. cit. 1997, p.41-44.
25. COMITÉ ORGANISATEUR DU VII OLYMPIADE ANVERS 1920, (ed.), Rapport Officiel
des Jeux de la VII eme Olympiade. Anvers : Il Comité , 1920, p.16.
26. These data correspond to a renewed edition of the Official Report of the Paris Games of
1924 (p. 829). COMITÉ ORGANISATEUR DU VIII OLYMPIADE PARIS 1924, (ed.), Les Jeux
de la VIII eme Olympiade Paris 1924, Rapport officiel du Comité Olympique Francais. Paris:
Librairie de France, 1924.
27. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR XV OLYMPIAD HELSINKI 1952, (ed.), The Official
report of the XV Olympiad Helsinki 1952. Pootovo: Werner Soderstrom Osakeyhtio, 1955,
28. Ibid., p.64.
29. Ibid., p.68.
30. The Organising Committee for the Olympic Winter Games of Oslo, 1952, p. 68.
31. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE XVI OLYMPIAD MELBOURNE 1956, (ed.), The
Official Report of the Organizing Committee for the Games of the XVI Olympiad, Melbourne
1956. Melbourne : W.M. Houston, Govt. Printer, 1958, p.94.
33. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF THE VIII OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES SQUAW VALLEY
1960, (ed.), VIII Olympic Winter Games, Squaw Valley, California, 1960 : final report.
Sacramento: California Olympic Commission, 1960, p.83.
34. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF THE X OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES GRENOBLE 1968,
X th Olympic Winter Games Grenoble 1968 : official report. Grenoble : the Committee, 1969,
35. COOB’92, Voluntaris’ 92. Barcelona : COOB’92, p.17.
36. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF THE XI OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES SAPPORO 1972,
The 11th Olympic Winter Games Sapporo 1972:oficial report. Sapporo: The Committee,
37. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF THE GAMES OF THE XXI OLYMPIAD MONTREAL
Games of the XXI Olympiad Montreal 1976. Montreal : the Committee, 1978, vol. I, p.89.
38. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF THE XIII OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES LAKE PLACID
1980, (ed.), Final Report. Lake Placid : the Committee, 1981, p.164.
39. Ibid., p.165
40. Ibid., p.164.
42. Ibid., p.165
43. ORGANISING COMMITTEE OF THE GAMES OF THE XXII OLYMPIAD MOSCÚ 1980
Games of the XXII nd Olympiad. Moscow : Fizkul’tura i sport, 1981, p.465.
44. ORGANISING COMMITTEE OF THE XIVth WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES 1984 AT
SARAJEVO, (ed.), Final Report. Sarajevo : the Committee, 1984, p.165.
45. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF THE XXIIIRD OLYMPIAD, LOS ÁNGELES 1984, (ed.),
Official Report of the Games of the XXIII rd Olympiad Los Angeles, 1984. Los Angeles : the
Committee, 1984, p.404. This page provides detailed information on the roles played by the
volunteers, while the statistical data appear on pages 400 and 401.
46. Ibid., p. 61.
47. ORGANISING COMMITTEE OF THE XV th WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES 1988 AT
CALGARY, (ed.), Calgary XV Olympic Winter Games: Official Report. Calgary : the
Committee, 1988. The references to the volunteers occur throughout the Official Report.
Especially noteworthy are p. 441-445, containing a description of the Calgary Games
department of volunteers. The role of the volunteers at Calgary was mentioned by many
48. Tewnion, John. The University of Calgary and the XV Olympic Winter Games. Calgary :
The University of Calgary, 1993, p.70. The author describes the make-up of the staff at the
Calgary Games, highlighting the characteristics and hours of work put in by the volunteers.
Ventura, Xavier. “Calgary, a la espera de su invierno olímpico”, in La Vanguardia, 1
November 1987, p.22-26.
49. However, certain details can be distinguished which tend to break away from this concept.
The award of diplomas, pins, uniforms, tickets and especially, certain gifts, is in contrast with
the altruistic ideal we associated with Olympic volunteerism. As an example, we could
mention incentives the volunteers received before, during and after the Albertville Games.
ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF THE XVI th WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES 1992 AT
ALBERTVILLE AND SAVOIE (ed.), Official Report of the XVI Olympic Winter Games of
Albertville and Savoie, Albertville : the Committee, 1992, p.38-40.
50. Kang Shin-pyo in the paper presented at this same symposium describes brilliantly the
reaction of the Koreans to the words of the president of the Seoul 1988 Organising
Committee. This link with the state is interpreted very differently in Asian countries such as
Korea, China and Japan. In fact, Nagano 1998 can also be considered from this
51. For further information on these volunteers, see the News Release, which from 1992 on,
followed the development of the volunteer programme at Atlanta. Other articles and
publications of interest include:
- Rodda, John .“Volunteering: The experience of a lifetime”, Olympic Review, Agosto-
Septiembre 1996, p. 33-35.
- Giral Ballerbo, Marti. “A dream come true”,. Olympic Review, Agosto-Septiembre
- -“The Medical Team limbers up for the 96 Games”, 1994, nº 326, p. 569-71.
- -Organizing Committee for the Atlanta Games, 1994-1995 Dream Team Memories.
52. Comité d’Atlanta pour les Jeux Olympiques. 1996 Olympic Games : Press Guide. Atlanta :
Comité d’Atlanta pour les Jeux Olympiques, 1996, p. 39.
53. This concept was employed by Burns, Liz. Congrés Europeudel Voluntariat. Sitges, 10, 11
i 12 desembre 1998.Barcelona : Generalitat de Catalunya, 1999, 221p.
54. For example, in Albertville and Lillehammer, volunteer recruitment was pyramidal in form,
which was markedly different from the case of the Summer Games at Barcelona and Atlanta.
Instead of accepting all the applications and then proceeding to run a selection process,
Lillehammer and Albertville recruited according to a graded process, in accordance with the
specific needs of the function to be filled by the particular volunteers. First, the volunteers for
key positions were recruited, then those occupying positions of some responsibility and
finally, the volunteers with least responsibility were recruited.
55. 1) Selection of aspiring candidates; 2) Language test; 3) Preliminary training; 4) Definitive
selection on the basis of clearly defined criteria; 5) Designation of heads and supervisors; 6)
Period of training for administrative staff; 7) Contract signing; 8) Intensive training according
to plan; 9) Trials in which volunteer guides came into contact with different visitors and foreign
residents. In addition, the intensive training programme included 22 lectures and 21 guided
56. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE XIII OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES LAKE PLACID
1980, (ed.), Final Report. Lake Placid : the Committee,1981, p.165.
57. Facts and information Calgary1988, 1986, p. 22.
58. ORGANISING COMMITTEE OF THE XV th WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES 1988 AT
CALGARY, (ed.), Calgary XV Olympic Winter Games: Official Report. Calgary : the
Committee, 1988, p.441-42.
59. Various sources describe these training programmes. Among which we must mention the
- COOB’92. Los cursos de formación de los voluntarios olímpicos de Barcelona’92.
Dossier informativo. 2a ed.rev. Barcelona : COOB’92, 1990, p.2.
- COOB’92.Divisió de Voluntaris. Formació específica per projectes. Barcelona :
- COOB’92. Marc general i criteris didàctics pel pla de formación de l’Equip’92.
- Clapés, Andreu. Voluntaris’92. La gran festa dela participació. Barcelona : (s.n.),
60. Jan Beretti prepared a thorough document on the education and training policy for
volunteers at Albertville, in which he assembles all the details of the volunteer training
programme. See -Beretti, Jan. La portee educative de la formation des voluntaires des XVIes
Jeus Olympiques d’hiver d’Albertville et de la Savoie (1988-1992), Lyon : Université Lumière,
61. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE OF THE XVI th WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES 1992 AT
ALBERTVILLE AND SAVOIE (ed.), Official Report of the XVI Olympic Winter Games of
Albertville and Savoie, Albertville : the Committee, 1992, p.38.
62. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE XVIII OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES, NAGANO
1998, (ed.), The XVIII Olympic Winter Games. Official Report, Nagano : the Committee, 1998,
63. See Campbell, Joel. Rallying to round up volunteers en http://www.Deseretnews.com del
día 7 de octubre de 1999.
64. See News Release, September 8, 1998
65. See Congrés Europeudel Voluntariat. Sitges, 10, 11 i 12 desembre 1998.Barcelona :
Generalitat de Catalunya, 1999, 221p.
66.Sánchez Vinuesa, Aurelio. Op. cit.
67. Dochao, Andrés y Barragán, José Antonio. “La feina del voluntariat en la societat de la
informació” En Congrés Europeudel Voluntariat. Sitges, 10, 11 i 12 desembre 1998.Barcelona
: Generalitat de Catalunya, 1999, p.78.