Young, male and resident in Attica

Young, male, with average education, a resident of Attica: this would sum up the profile of the average volunteer, according to the information that was made public by Athens 2004 on April 29. More specifically, out of the total number of volunteers, 55 percent are men and 45 percent are female. As expected, the overwhelming majority – 78 percent – are under 34 years of age, while 2 percent were underage when they submitted their applications. (One condition for volunteers is that have to have turned 18 by the time of the Games.) Forty-one percent are aged 18 to 24, and 35 percent from 25 to 34. Eleven percent are aged 35 to 44, while another 11 percent are over 45. The majority of volunteers (65 percent) are permanent residents of Greece. But a quarter of the applications (25.5 percent) come from abroad, 188 countries in total to be exact, while 9.5 percent are Greeks who live in 99 other countries. Predictably, volunteers living in Greece chiefly come from Attica (62 percent). Eighteen percent come from prefectures whose main cities have been designated Olympic venues (10 percent from Thessaloniki, 3 percent from Achaia, 3 percent from Iraklion and 2 percent from Magnesia). The other 20 percent come from the rest of Greece. Of the applications from abroad, most are from the USA (6.3 percent), Spain (4.4 percent) and Germany (3.3 percent). These first three are followed by Great Britain (3 percent), Australia (2.9 percent), Cyprus (1.7 percent), France (1.6 percent), Canada (1.6 percent) and Italy (1.5 percent). As regards educational level, 59 percent of volunteers said they had finished primary and secondary education. Around one-third (29 percent) – a percentage regarded as comparatively high – have university education and 12 percent have a postgraduate degree. A large proportion of prospective volunteers (33.6 percent) said they had previous experience of voluntary work and one in four had experience of people with special needs (25.6 percent), which obviously had a great influence on how they viewed their participation in the Games. According to a study carried out on behalf of Athens 2004, eight in 10 volunteers believe that the organization of the Olympics is absolutely their concern. Indeed, one-third declared that the organization of the Games concerns them today even more than when they submitted their application, while over half (55 percent) are still equally enthusiastic. One in 10 believe that their participation will be decisive for the success of the event. The reasons why each of these 160,000 people decided to become a volunteer are many and varied. According to the study, most chose to reply that they will have «a rare and unique experience of a global event.» They are followed by those who regard the objective as important and want to contribute to it and those who want «to serve the country.» A large percentage (76.1 percent) said that they would continue volunteer work after the Games, a percentage that is higher among female volunteers (78.2 percent) and volunteers outside Athens (84 percent).