People from mainland China can start applying to work as volunteers for the 2008 Olympic Games from Friday as organizers launched a nationwide recruiting campaign.
The Communist Youth League of China, together with the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG), held a grand ceremony at the Great Hall of the People to start the second round of massive recruitment.
"We have received 2,228 applications on-line in just half an hour after the launching ceremony," Liu Jian, head of BOCOG's volunteer department, told a press conference held shortly after the ceremony.
"It shows the enormous enthusiasm of the young people."
But many are destined to be disappointed because the campaign is mainly targeting students from Beijing-based universities, 30 provinces and municipal cities outside Beijing, with a limited quota of only 100 volunteers each.
"Volunteers mainly came from the host city in the previous Games, but we decided to recruit volunteers from other areas outside Beijing to cater to the enthusiasm of the general public," said Li Shixin, an official with BOCOG's volunteer department.
BOCOG plans to enlist a total of 70,000 volunteers for the 2008 Olympics and 30,000 for the ensuing Paralympics, and more than 250,000 people from Beijing alone have submitted their applications since the first stage of the recruitment campaign kicked off in the Chinese capital last August.
BOCOG executive vice president Li Binghua said the third round recruiting campaign would be initiated in March to receive applicants from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, to be followed with another stage of recruitment for the wider world.
"The first batch of the volunteers will be selected before August and they will start working during this year's test events, " said Li.
Volunteers will be fed but must pay for their own transport to and from Beijing and accommodation in the Chinese capital.