By Tom Degun

Sochi 2014 volunteer logoFebruary 3 - Sochi 2014 have launched their final push for volunteers to work at the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games with the closing date for registration due to be on March 1, 2013.

A countdown clock to the March 1 deadline has now appeared on the Sochi 2014 volunteer website where potential volunteers must register by clicking here

Anyone wishing to apply must fill in an application form on the website to become a volunteer at the first ever Winter Games in Russia.

"It is already safe to say that the Sochi 2014 volunteer programme has been a great success: over 160,000 applications have been sent in to the Organising Committee by would-be volunteers," said a Sochi 2014 statement.

"More than 80 per cent of the volunteers for the 2014 Games have already been selected.

"In the 2012-13 season, 5,000 of them will acquire some work experience at the test events being organised with the support of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee.

"The volunteers are going to get through an overall total of more than 50,000 shifts; they will be among the first to see the Olympic slopes and stadiums and they will pick up some unique experience in conditions that are extremely similar to what is in store for them at the Games.

"They will then pass on the knowledge they acquire 'in the field' at the 26 Volunteer Centres around the country."

Sochi 2014 volunteersMore 160,000 people have already applied to volunteer at Sochi 2014

The training programme for the Olympic volunteers is one of the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee's biggest projects with an estimated 25,000 volunteers to be involved during the Games in Sochi in more than 20 areas of activity.

These activities range from meeting delegations at the airport to helping organise the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Approximately 3,000 volunteers trained in the city of Sochi will help visitors find their way between the venues and provide a warm and hospitable welcome.

In total, volunteers are going to account for more than 30 per cent of total staff numbers at the Games.

Anyone can become a volunteer, provided that on January 6, 2014, they are aged between 18 and 80.

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