The recruitment of the 70,000 volunteers required to stage a successful Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 is well under way. More than 240,000 applicants are now taking part in the first phase of the selection process, which includes an online exercise and language assessment. Interviews with successful candidates will then begin next year.
“The online exercise is a way to engage the candidates and help them understand what it would be like to work at the Rio 2016 Games,” said Flavia Fontes, manager of the Rio 2016 volunteer programme. “It’s a fun way for them to learn about the Games, as well as allowing us to get to know them better.”
People from all over the world applied to become a volunteer at Rio 2016, the first Olympic Games to be hosted in South America. Brazilians accounted for 60 per cent of the 242,757 applicants, with the remainder coming from a further 191 countries. The USA, Russia, China and Great Britain – all of whom have hosted their own Games in recent times – recorded the most interest, which is a reflection of the positive experiences that volunteers have had in the past.
The broad mix of applicants will help ensure Rio 2016 is a truly international event, said Fontes, who added: “We were very happy with the results. The number of applicants demonstrated the desire of people to participate in the Games and showed that the volunteer spirit is alive in Brazil. The quantity of different nationalities, age groups and backgrounds is making the diversity we are seeking a reality. The Games are for everyone and the volunteers programme already shows this.”
Successful applicants will benefit from the opportunity to learn new skills, with a one-year online English course and training specific to their role all offered as standard.