Over the past eight months, 40,000 people have applied to work on a voluntary basis during the 2004 Olympics, Games organizers said yesterday. This is just over a quarter of the total 150,000 applications Athens 2004 officials are hoping to attract by the end of 2003, to ensure a broad enough pool from which to select the 60,000 volunteers required to ensure the smooth functioning of the Games. After the summer holidays, «interest has been rekindled,» an Athens 2004 Organizing Committee statement said yesterday, adding that applications are coming in at a rate of 5,000 a month. The total stood at 40,445 on October 2, nearly 23,000 of which were submitted by e-mail (www.2004.gr). Athens 2004 launched its volunteer campaign in January 2001, but started accepting applications a year later.