Following the Tokyo 2020 Games, several Paris 2024 committees met to create a program that would open the Olympics to as many people as possible, which stems from their volunteer program. These volunteers will have the opportunity to experience the world’s biggest sporting event from the inside, and will contribute to delivering an unforgettable experience for all Olympic and Paralympic athletes. While the Tokyo volunteer program had 70,000 slots available, the Paris project only has about 45,000 project slots.
The Paris 2024 Board of Directors, led by three-time Olympic champion Tony Estanguet, approved the outline of its volunteer program, reducing the volunteer slots that were utilized in Tokyo 2020 by a projected 35%. However, the goal of the newly-outlined volunteer program is to ensure that each role is clearly defined and utilized in order to create a preeminent experience. This program has been outlined through the Board’s volunteer charter and their recruitment strategies.
The Volunteer Charter
The Paris 2024 Board proposed a charter in order to effectively list the responsibilities of the delegated volunteer roles. There are six main volunteer duties that will be utilized: orientation and assistance, sports operation support, organizational operation support, transport, medical services support, and ceremonies support.
“By developing a volunteer charter together with the partners of the social charter and notably all the social partners, Paris 2024 is putting in place the conditions to deliver a volunteer programme that is aligned with its ambition to stage socially-responsible Games,” said Bernard Thibault, President of the Social Charter Oversight Committee within the Paris 2024 Board of Directors.
The Volunteer Recruitment Strategies
The Paris 2024 volunteer recruitment strategies are based on the following inclusive recruitment criteria:
- Gender equality
- Representation of all French regions
- Openness to all age groups
- Engagement of people with disabilities
The Paris Board of Directors has stated that they anticipate to fill around 3,000 slots for volunteers with disabilities.
Paris 2024 Volunteer Program Deadlines
Autumn 2022: Campaign begins
Early 2023: Volunteer applications will open online
Spring-Summer 2023: Review of applications
Autumn 2023: Responses to applicants; Training begins
You can read the full press release on the Paris 2024 volunteer program here.
Sometimes, volunteers end up assisting the athletes in unexpected manners. For instance, one volunteer paid for Jamaican hurdler Hansle Parchment’s taxi after he’d boarded the wrong bus and wound up at the wrong venue in Tokyo. Parchment ended up winning an Olympic gold medal in that event. Parchment had been listening to music and didn’t realize he had gotten on the wrong bus until he’d ended up at the aquatics center instead of the track and field stadium.
Parchment spotted a volunteer and begged for help, and she helped him hail a taxi and paid for it so that he could make his event on time. Parchment ended up winning the 110-meter hurdles event and repaid the woman by tracking her down, showing her his gold medal and giving her his Jamaican uniform.