"Volunteers are the cornerstone of the Olympic Movement," said He Zhenliang,the 78-year-old member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and chairman of IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education.
It is the devotion of many forerunners that the vitality and splendor of modern Olympics can be assured and continued he said during a press interview. Taking an example of IOC, he said, its leaders and members all work voluntarily without receiving material remuneraiton.
He bears in mind the picture of many volunteers he had encountered at home and abroad,and he keeps contact with many of them.
He still remembers a Greek lady who is about his age but with a disability. In volunteer uniform, she helped to distribute tickets during the Athens Olympic Games.
"Such a lady is entitled to sitting comfortably at home, watching TV and enjoying sport, why is she working so hard at this juncture?" asked He. And he answered himself: "She wants to do her part to make the Games at his home country splendid."
He Zhenliang could not forget a young volunteer he met at Sydney Games. Once he happened to take his car out of a parking lot under a venue where a fierce competition was unfolding. The volunteer quietly worked there to see every vehicle in and out. "I am longing to see the game but I am on duty now and I am enjoying the service here above all," he said.
Mr. He is always moved by such episodes. When he learnt that Sidney held a post-Games street parade of 50,000 volunteers to receive public hails because of their excellent services, he said: "They (volunteers) deserve respect."
Mr. He believed that devotion is "No one principle" that every volunteer should abide by. Volunteers need to dismiss any practices and pretensions that run against the principle. Some may be choosy about the service positions, others may not want to do "dull and dry jobs", still others may see the volunteer service as a way to seek fame..."All these are unadvisable," he said.