After an overwhelming response to the PyeongChang 2018 volunteer program which saw more than 91,000 applicants, the lucky ones who have been selected to be part of the Olympic and Paralympic Games from the host nation have been announced on March 16.
From the initial interested parties, 41,350 were selected to take part in the interview process which was held during the first two months of this year. More than 16,200 have been recruited locally and they will begin their training sessions from the end of this month. Selection was based on volunteer experience, their commitment to the Games and basic knowledge of PyeongChang 2018.
The most popular job categories applied for were General Operations, Broadcasting, Interpretation and Language Services, Spectator Support and Weather.
Where there are any shortfalls in the number of volunteers needed in certain roles, there will be a further recruitment drive in April and selected candidates will begin their training in July.
The selected volunteer will go through a series of training sessions which include Games introduction and teamwork building (Mar. – Aug. 2017), leadership education (Sep. – Dec 2017), job specific education (Sep. – Mar. 2018), and venue training (Jan. – Feb. 2018). These will be conducted in a number of cities across the country to reduce volunteers travel time and the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) will provide the educational materials and trainers required.
POCOG president Lee Hee-beom said, “It is wonderful to see so many people eager and excited to be part of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games. Our volunteers will play a very important role in making the Games a wonderful experience for all the athletes, officials and spectators. We cannot do it without them so I would like to personally thank them for their support and dedication in the year ahead and hope they make many life-long friendships and memories at the Games.”
There was also a large volume of interest from overseas, including 4% of applicants coming from Russia following the success of Sochi 2014. The selected individuals, who will make up 5% of the total volunteer pool, will be announced later this month.
Volunteers recruited from abroad will begin their online training from May. Due to their arrival in PyeongChang close to the Games, they will then go through basic and job specific education and venue training for at least one week before operations begin.
The total pool of volunteers that will be utilized across all elements of the Games will be 22,400. This is made up of 16,318 local applicants, 947 international applicants and 5,135 group applicants which includes students from George Washington University and other agreements that have been made.
From the total number of online applications, 14% were from overseas. Aside from Russia’s high level of interest (2,890), China (1,345) and the United States (1,158) were the next in line to show their support of the Games and want to be part of this fantastic experience.