The Organising Committee (Cojo) of Paris-2024 needed 45,000 volunteer volunteers... And he finally has more than 200,000 candidates at his disposal. Sports fans keen to help and guide athletes and spectators from around the world for the biggest sporting event on the planet had until Wednesday, May 3 to register.

The criteria were simple: be at least 18 years old on January 1, 2024, speak French and/or English and be available for at least ten days in the summer of 2024.

As always, the candidates exceed the necessary needs, namely 30,000 volunteers for the Olympic Games (26 July-11 August 2024) and 15,000 for the Paralympic Games (28 August-8 September). A large contingent, compared to the 12,000 volunteers who officiated during the 1998 World Cup in France, or the 8,000 or so at the Albertville Winter Olympics in 1992.

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In Seine-Saint-Denis, where elected officials – and in particular the PS president of the department, Stéphane Troussel – are anxious that the poorest department of France does not miss the Olympic meeting, 1,900 inhabitants have been accompanied, in particular through training to maximize their chances.

The City of Paris also needs some 5,000 people, who will be on the streets of the capital in addition to the 45,000 volunteers of the Cojo.

Personality test

The candidates – called to become the "faces of the Games", as the head of the committee, Tony Estanguet repeats – will now pass through the sieve of the selection.

They answered some 200 questions like a personality test. Examples: "What I have the least indulgence for: 1. inability to think or 2. lack of initiative." or "I prefer: 1. think outside the box to find new solutions or 2. working for an organization that helps make the world a better place."

Nearly 60% of the missions assigned to them are dedicated to hosting (public, media, etc.) for Games where nearly ten million spectators are expected. For more sporting missions (a little more than a third), such as raking the sand of the long jump pit or picking up balls, sports federations will also propose their candidates, who exceptionally can be at least 16 years old.

Some candidates will already be selected for test tests that will take place this summer, but the vast majority of candidates will be chosen by the end of 2023. "There will be disappointed," warned Tony Estanguet.

Most of the Olympic and Paralympic events will take place in Paris and Île-de-France, with the exception of sailing (Marseille), shooting (Châteauroux), basketball for the group stages and hand for the finals (Lille), football and surfing in Tahiti. Approximately 5,000 volunteers will be needed outside the France Island.

Administrative enquiry

To govern these "volunteers" and guard against any risk of litigation, the Organising Committee has drawn up a charter for "Olympic and Paralympic volunteering".

The Court of Auditors, in a report on the Olympics published in January, recommended to be "particularly vigilant on the application of its provisions and, in particular, on the principles of eligibility, the categories of missions and the respect of the principles of exclusion of some of them".

Another parameter to take into account for the Cojo: flush out possible false candidacies of anti-Olympic activists who have announced, on social networks, their intention to infiltrate the network of volunteers. Volunteers, like accredited volunteers, will be subject to screening, i.e. an administrative investigation.

With AFP

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