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Olympic volunteer service stations to remain in Beijing
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The 550 volunteer service stations will remain in Beijing as an important legacy of the Olympics, according to a Games official on Wednesday.

The stations would continue to provide information service for the public during holidays, said Liu Jian, director of the Volunteer Department of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the 29th Olympiad (BOCOG).

The Capital Museum, Beijing Zoo, Beijing Planetarium and Xinhua Department Store had already offered to contract the stations and send their volunteer teams, Wednesday's Beijing News reported.

The locales of the stations would be altered with some moved to school campuses, communities and tourist attractions to provide services for more people, the newspaper quoted the China Communist Youth League Beijing Committee as saying.

Statistics revealed the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics had 100,000 Games-time volunteers, 400,000 city volunteers and more than 1 million social volunteers.

City volunteers usually work in a 12-square-meter "blue cube" decorated with Olympic and Paralympic signs. They are open each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m..

They were also assigned to designated locations, including subway entrances and bus stations across the city, mainly to help overseas visitors overcome the language barrier, while social volunteers mainly offered services at local communities.

More than 920,000 applicants competed for the 400,000 positions to be Games volunteers.

An army of volunteers has become a standard feature of the Olympics over the past few decades, helping to keep the cost of the Games down by working without pay and not charging travel and accommodation expenses.

(Xinhua News Agency September 18, 2008)

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