PyeongChang has ended its volunteer recruitment drive after receiving four times more applicants than the number of volunteers needed for the Olympic Winter Games.
More than 91,000 people from 145 countries offered to help PyeongChang deliver successful Games. The Organising Committee expects to select about 22,000 volunteers to assist with a variety of tasks, from medical services to helping spectators find their seats at sports venues.
Selected volunteers will undergo a series of training sessions, including lessons on teambuilding, leadership and the requirements of their specific Games-time roles. Around 14 per cent of the volunteer hopefuls live in countries other than the Republic of Korea, with the most foreign applications coming from Russia, China and the United States, in that order.
The most sought-after volunteer job was in languages services. More than 8,100 people offered to use their language skills to help foreign visitors at the Games. Just under 500 volunteers will be needed for that role. Other volunteers will provide operational support, assist the media, help with technology and provide other behind-the-scenes assistance.
“Volunteers will carry out a range of essential tasks,” PyeongChang President Hee-beom Lee said. “PyeongChang depends on the volunteers to help make the Games a success.”
Volunteers play an essential role at every edition of the Olympic Games, and typically receive some of the loudest cheers when they are formally thanked at the closing ceremony. Depending on their needs, some receive housing and food in return for their service. Others volunteer solely for the experience of being at the heart of the Games and meeting people from all over the world. Many offer their time at multiple Games.President Lee said PyeongChang would use a “transparent, open and fair process” to select applicants who meet the job requirements and who would “bring passion and enthusiasm to the Games”.