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Over 320,000 People Apply to Be Olympic Volunteers
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The number of applications to be a volunteer at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games has exceeded 320,000 since the recruitment program began in August last year, according to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG).

By the end of January, the number of applications from Beijingers had reached 256,180, including 181,570 university and college students, said the committee.

Around 4,000 employees from more than 150 foreign-funded enterprises in Beijing, such as IBM and Nokia, also applied for being volunteers.

"The employees working for foreign enterprises who can speak foreign languages to a high level will be a major source of Olympic volunteers, and they will mainly provide help for transport and accommodation services," said Wang Yi'e, an official from the Beijing Volunteer Association.

The BOCOG plans to enlist a total of 70,000 volunteers for the 2008 Olympics and 30,000 for the following Paralympics.

BOCOG executive vice president Li Binghua said another round of recruitment would be initiated in March to receive applicants from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, which will be followed with recruitment for the wider world.

"The first batch of the volunteers will be selected before August and they will start working during this year's test events," said Li.

(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2006)

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