To mark International Volunteer Day, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee has announced the closing date for volunteer applications. Candidate registration will finish on 1st March 2013. On Sochi 2014’s website, www.vol.sochi2014.com, a countdown mechanism has appeared, counting down the days left to apply to become a volunteer.
To date the Sochi 2014 volunteer program has been very successful: there have been over 140,000 applications, and the Organizing Committee has chosen more than 80% of the candidates as volunteers for the Winter Games of 2014.
During the 2012-2013 season, five thousand volunteers will attend training by taking part in the sports test events in Sochi, organized with the participation of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee. In total the volunteers of the Organizing Committee will work over 50,000 shifts and will be some of the first to see the Olympic tracks and stadiums. One of their key learnings will be working in conditions that will closely resemble those at the actual Games. Volunteers will share the knowledge they received with their colleagues from all 26 Sochi 2014 volunteer centers across Russia.
During the test events, Sochi 2014 volunteers will be provided with everything they need - accommodation, food, clothing and transportation. This will all be provided by the Administration of the Krasnodar Region.
More than 100 Sochi 2014 volunteers have already worked at the Federation Cup in Figure Skating, the Russia Cup in Bobsled and Skeleton, the Russia Cup in Luge, and International Training Week in Luge, which took place in Sochi from November 5 - 14, 2012.
Sports volunteers are preparing tracks and venues for the competitions, and are helping athletes prepare for the events. General volunteers are meeting and accompanying international sports federation delegations, helping spectators get to the stands and also working as translators. The average age of the Sochi 2014 team is 18 - 25 years, but the "silver age" volunteers have also arrived to gain experience in Sochi.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, said:
"We are very proud of our volunteers. They have already proved themselves at the Games in London and at the test events. Now they are going through one of the most complex experiences - the work at the numerous test competitions of the 2012-2013 season, which will become the "dress rehearsal" for the Games in Sochi. I have no doubt that our volunteers will work conscientiously and get a great deal of useful experience at the events. The friendly team atmosphere and the Olympic spirit will help them reach their full potential."
Sochi volunteer Yaroslav Migachev (Tver) said:
"It’s one thing to watch sports competitions on television, but another to take part. Working as a volunteer is great as you are given the opportunity to get really involved with the sport that you are helping in. You get to know all of the rules and subtleties - and that sport stops being a mystery from the television screen. I became particularly interested in bobsledding through volunteering. Previously, I hadn’t been interested in that sport at all, now I love it. It was exciting and interesting to work here. During the test events in Sochi we learned new skills and gained new hobbies. We will return home with new ideas and interests, and will transfer our experience and enthusiasm to other Sochi 2014 volunteers."
Sochi volunteer Uzdiyat Idzibagandova (Stavropol) said:
"The first test competitions went extremely well. The presence of the volunteers at the events became a good tradition a long time ago - and these contests were no exception. We enjoyed the work, in particular the providing support to the athletes and helping to create a festive Olympic atmosphere."
Notes to the Editor
The training program for Olympic volunteers is one of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee’s most ambitious projects. An estimated 25 thousand volunteers will be involved during the Games in Sochi in more than 20 areas of activity, from meeting delegations at the airport to helping organize the Closing Ceremony. Moreover, approximately 3,000 volunteers trained in the city of Sochi will help visitors find their way between the venues and provide a warm and hospitable welcome. Altogether, the volunteers make up more than 30% of the total number of Games personnel.
Volunteer recruitment is handled through 26 Volunteer Centers, established at Russian institutions of higher education selected in competition. Anyone who will be between the ages of 18 and 80 on 6th January 2014 can become a volunteer.