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(Olympics) Some 2,000 volunteers drop out before PyeongChang Olympics

All Headlines 15:32 February 02, 2018

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb. 2 (Yonhap) -- Some 2,000 unpaid volunteers for the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics have dropped out even before the multi-sport event begins, officials confirmed Friday, amid rising complaints over their poor working conditions.

"These 2,000 people have already expressed their intention to give up before joining us," said an official from the organizing committee of the Feb. 9-25 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. "We're now watching whether the number of dropouts increases in the coming days."

The Olympic organizer has a plan to commit some 15,000 volunteer workers to the first Winter Olympics on South Korea soil. But many are worried that fewer than the target number of volunteers will actually participate in the event if more people do not show up by the official opening.

Recently, news reports said that those working in advance in key Olympic facilities, such as the Main Press Centre and athletes' villages, are struggling with excessively long commutes and limited access to hot water at several lodging facilities.

The organizing committee promised to give better accommodation to volunteers before the Olympic Games kicks off next Friday.

"We will focus on reducing their inconveniences by improving their quarters and increasing the number of shuttle buses," it said. "We kindly ask all volunteers to take part in the event until the end of the competition."

A group of volunteers jumps in the National Flag Square after ending a ceremony to open the Olympic athletes' village for the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics in Gangneung, 237 km east of Seoul, on Feb. 1, 2018. (Yonhap)


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