MOSCOW, January 28 (RIA Novosti) – More than half of the 25,000 volunteers recruited for the upcoming Winter Olympics have arrived in Sochi and are preparing to meet the athletes and guests, organizers said Tuesday.
The volunteer team is comprised of about 23,000 Russians and 2,000 foreigners from around 60 countries. The average age is 25, while the oldest volunteer, who comes from Siberia and attended the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, is aged 75.
Among foreign volunteers, 10 percent come from the United States, 9 percent from Ukraine, 8 percent from Canada, the United Kingdom and Kazakhstan, 7 percent from Germany and 4 percent from France and Belarus.
Some Sochi volunteers also come from Japan, New Zealand, Cameroon, Congo and Pakistan. The opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics takes place on February 7.
Organizers say that more than 7,000 people will be involved in helping at events and 2,400 in medal ceremonies. Some 1,000 will work with National Olympic Committee (NOC) and National Paralympic Committee (NPC) delegations.
Others will be responsible for accreditation, arrivals and departures, as well as language services.
Volunteers were drawn from 26 volunteer centers based at educational institutions across Russia. The campaign to recruit volunteers was launched in February 2012 and anyone aged between 18 and 80 could apply.
Volunteers are to leave Sochi in late March when all the Olympic and Paralympic guests have returned home.
Updated with new headline, adds details.