NEWS

More than enough volunteers

An impressive total of over 160,000 people, including a large number of residents abroad, have offered to work as volunteers during the Olympic Games, the Athens 2004 organizing committee said yesterday. Today is the last day for submitting applications for voluntary Olympic work. Some 45,000 volunteers will be needed to work during the August 13-29 Olympics, and another 15,000 during the September Paralympics. But Athens 2004 wanted 120-150,000 applications, so as to be able to pick the best candidates. The total response was much higher than the 75,665 applications submitted for the Sydney 2000 Games and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics’ 78,000. Over 30,000 applicants have already been assigned their duties, the organizing committee said. Women slightly outnumbered male applicants, accounting for 55 percent of all applications. Some 65 percent of all applicants were Greeks living in Greece. Nationals of a total 188 countries made up 25.5 percent of all applicants, while the remaining 9.5 percent were Greeks of the diaspora from 99 countries. Out of the Greeks, 80 percent came from the five Olympic cities. Some 62 percent were residents of the greater Athens area and Attica, 10 percent came from Thessaloniki, 3 percent from Patras and its environs, another 3 percent from Iraklio in Crete and 2 percent were from the Volos area. The largest national group of non-Greeks were US nationals (6.3 percent), followed by Spaniards (4.4 percent), Germans (3.3 percent), Britons (3 percent), Australians (2.9 percent) and Cypriots (1.7 percent). Most applicants were aged 18-24 (41 percent), 5 percent were aged over 55 and 2 percent were under 18.