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VANOC looking for volunteers from Sea to Sky

Thousands still needed for opening and closing ceremonies

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Alexandre Horobjowsky is keeping his fingers crossed that he will get to be in the 2010 Olympics.


Although the Whistler resident is an avid and strong snowboarder he doesn't plan on competing: he plans on performing in the Opening or Closing ceremonies for the Games.


"...It is going to be my one and only chance to participate in the Olympics so I really want to be involved as much as I can," said the 26 year old who moved here from Montreal last year.


"I think the ceremonies will be an excellent opportunity. It will be such a great event being there when everything is happening and everyone is there watching."


The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games is still looking for thousands of people to volunteer for the $38 million events, which are expected to be watched by over 3.5 billion worldwide. It needs 7,500 people in all. So far about 4,000 have applied since the call went out last month.


"This is the time for us to reach the people who have always wanted to be in something like and who are really excited about it," said David Guscott, VANOC's VP of celebrations and partnerships.


"There are not too many other things in your lifetime that will come up that are quite this exciting and we know there are lots of folks out there who really want to show their stuff and this is something you would talk about to your grandchildren - that you were in this show."


VANOC is also encouraging males to apply.


"We are particularly interested in attracting men too, as there is a general trend in these things that more women come forward. That is why we asked for dancers and athletes," said Guscott.


That is good news for Horobjowsky, who has already volunteered at VANOC test events this season. He said he would be happy to dance and be on stage but would also consider it a great honour to lead a country into the stadium.


"I would like to be out there performing or walking out teams or doing something that keeps me a little bit more involved with the people," he said adding that interviews start in May.


The 2010 Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony will take place in Vancouver's 55,000-seat B.C. Place Stadium on Feb. 12, 2010. The Closing Ceremony will be on Feb. 28. This will be the first time in Olympic Games history that the Olympic Ceremonies will be staged in the comfort of an indoor venue.


That will likely mean more athletes will come, as weather won't be an issue.


So far entire women's hockey teams have applied to be part of the ceremonies, along with hundreds of dancers. Twenty-three per cent of applications have come from men. Outside of B.C., Ontario has the greatest number of applicants at four per cent, followed by Alberta at two per cent.


To apply to volunteer go to www.vancouver2010.com/ceremonies.


Said Guscott: "(The Ceremonies) are going to be spectacular.


"And we do want people to realize that it is not too late. There is still time to get the application in."

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