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Without doubt, a lot of behind-the-scenes work is necessary to pull off an event as big as the Olympics. Nowhere is the competition for a volunteer spot more fierce than with flower sweepers, children skaters that clear the ice of “gifts” tossed by adoring fans following figure skating performances. Only 30 skaters were chosen from among 135 that applied. Those selected had to show skill, grace, and the ability to work as a team.


  1. As manager of figure skating operations, which role(s) will Bev Viger serve to facilitate teamwork and accomplishment of the important task of ice sweeping?
  2. Consider the nature of the task represented by sweeping and communication to get it accomplished. What type of group is likely to be most effective? What type of communication network should be utilized?
  3. What decision-making method is used to deploy the sweepers? Is this typically a method associated with effective teams? Discuss the circumstances under which this method might or might not be effective.

SOURCE: G. A. Fowler, “Eleven-Year-Old Makes Clean Sweep in Olympic Figure Skating,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at

See also J. Branch, “Volunteers at Whistler Do the Grunt Work, and Love It,” New York Times (Retrievable online at

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