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Olympics volunteer office gets 22,000 foreign applications
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Organizers of the Beijing Olympics said on Thursday that 22,000 foreign nationals have applied to serve as volunteers for the Olympics and Paralympics. The application period ended on March 31.

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) received 1.126 million domestic and foreign applications since August when the application period opened.

BOCOG will choose 100,000 people -- about 70,000 for the Olympics and about 30,000 for the Paralympics -- both exceeding the figures from the Athens Olympics, which had held the record for applicants and volunteers. About 160,000 volunteer applications were received before the 2004 Athens Olympics and 60,000 people were chosen.

One foreign national has a Chinese name. He's Zheng Lie, a student from the Republic of Korea who studies at Renmin University and is eager to be a volunteer because he "likes Beijing and China."

Zheng served at last year's Olympic gymnastics test run, where his enthusiasm was hailed by Beijing sports officials, according to BOCOG.

Applicants will be trained in Olympics-related knowledge, basic regulations and skills before qualifying as volunteers, according to the BOCOG's volunteer department.

(Xinhua News Agency April 4, 2008)

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