By Daniel Etchells

Henrique Gonzalez, the Rio 2016 Organising Committee's human resources director, is encouraged by the response to the volunteer programme ©Getty ImagesMore than 100,000 people from 180 countries have applied for Rio 2016's volunteer programme, designed to select 70,000 people to participate in South America's first-ever Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The majority of the candidates, 58 per cent, are women, while competition is fierce among nations for the highest number of candidates.

After the host country Brazil, Russia leads the way, followed by China and the United States.

Those who are selected will be allocated to nine functional areas serving the public, sports, press and communications, operational support, production of ceremonies, protocol and languages, healthcare, technology and transport offering over 500 types of jobs.

"We are very happy that the response has been so positive," said Henrique Gonzalez, the Rio 2016 human resources director.

"It is really good to see so many people wanting to play an active role in South America's first Olympic and Paralympic Games and share the thrill of this historic event."

Many of the volunteers for Rio 2016 will be based at the João Havelange Olympic Stadium ©Getty ImagesMany of the volunteers for Rio 2016 will be based at the João Havelange Olympic Stadium ©Getty Images

Maria Soledade, the oldest candidate to register for the programme at the age of 83, grasped the opportunity and is already dreaming of taking part in the biggest sporting event on the planet. 

"The main reason I want to be a volunteer is that I will have the opportunity to contribute to and experience the world's biggest sporting event," said Soledade, who is from the Brazilian state of Sergipe,

"I am sure that it will be the most glorious moment in my life."

People who will be aged 18 or over by February 28, 2016, can submit an application online by clicking here.

The deadline for applications is November 15.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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