More than 1 million people had applied to be volunteers at the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games as of Tuesday, less than one month before recruitment ends, the largest response in the history of the Games, official statistics showed.
More than 1.2 million have filed applications to be "City Volunteers", who will work at designated spots across Beijing, mainly to help overseas visitors overcome the language barrier, according to the latest statistics from the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG).
As many as 400,000 "City Volunteers" will be selected.
Many people have applied to be Games-time volunteers as well as "City Volunteers", BOCOG officials said.
A total of 100,000 Games-time volunteers will be chosen for the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics -- about 70,000 for the Olympics and about 30,000 for the Paralympics -- both exceeding the figures from the Athens Olympics, whose applicant and volunteer numbers set the previous records.
Around 160,000 volunteer applications were received before the 2004 Athens Olympics and 60,000 people were chosen.
The application period for the Beijing games started in August 2006 and is to end on March 31.
Applicants will be trained in the fields of Olympic-related knowledge, basic regulations and skills before qualifying as volunteers, according to the head of the Volunteer Department.
(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2008)