The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) and the Olympics Volunteer Work Coordination Group officially launched their recruitment drive for volunteers for the Olympics and Paralympic Games this morning.
Both Liu Qi -- member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), secretary of the Beijing municipal committee of the CPC and president of the BOCOG -- and Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), delivered televised addresses to extend their congratulations.
"The recruitment of Olympic volunteers will be conducted in accordance with the plans of the IOC and BOCOG," Liu said in his address. "It's important in promoting the preparations of the Games and opens up opportunities for the general public and friends from home and abroad to participate in and serve the Games.
"To host a 'high-level' Olympic Games 'with distinguishing features' is a solemn commitment made by the Chinese government and BOCOG and it's also the common expectation of the Chinese people," he noted. "In 2008 the volunteers' smiles will be the best name cards for Beijing. Since the Olympic volunteer program was initiated on June 5 last year the preparations have progressed smoothly."
Liu extended his gratitude to the friends from home and abroad who've always shown great interest in and offered powerful support to the preparations for the Games. He hoped that all the Chinese people including those in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas students as well as international friends would be actively involved in submitting Olympic volunteer applications.
Once recruited the team would be expected to promote volunteering, pass on the Olympic spirit, practice the concept of a "People's Olympics," improve service awareness and their service abilities and bear the historical responsibility and glorious mission of making contributions to the Beijing Olympic Games, Liu said.
Rogge recognized the volunteers' contribution to the Olympic Games and called on people from China and other countries to serve as volunteers so they may greet the world in 2008.
At the launch ceremony both the online application system for Olympic volunteers (volunteers.beijing2008.com) and the volunteer consultancy hotline (86-10-12308) of the Beijing Olympic Call Center were officially opened.
(Beijing2008.com August 28, 2006)