PARIS -- The Paris Olympics is putting out a call for 45,000 helpers.
Organizers of the 2024 Games are launching a drive this week to recruit tens of thousands of volunteers willing to work without pay at the world's biggest sports event.
And they want the group of volunteers to include at least 3,000 people with disabilities -- in line with Paris' drive to stage an event that is open to everyone.
At a news conference Tuesday to launch the volunteer recruitment drive, the French government's minister for people with disabilities called the 2024 Games "a magnificent opportunity" to make France more inclusive.
"People with disabilities often lack confidence in themselves and think of themselves as excluded from all these events," said the minister, Geneviève Darrieussecq. "And here we're telling them, 'No, on the contrary. Not only are you not excluded but we need you.'"
She urged people with disabilities to sign up as volunteer candidates, saying: "Everyone is welcome."
Prospective volunteers will be able to apply starting Wednesday on the Paris 2024 website, with a May 3 deadline.
To be considered, they'll need to be at least 18, speak French or English, and be available for a minimum of 10 days during the Olympics or Paralympics, where they'll be tasked with a broad array of jobs.
People from all nations can apply, including from Russia and Belarus -- despite the Russian war in Ukraine. But candidates from countries outside Europe's visa-free Schengen zone will need to complete extra paperwork if they are picked.