Sochi organizers confirm volunteers used to fill up seats at the games

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: February 10, 2014 - 8:25 AM
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Fans walk through a tunnel after the men's biathlon 10k sprint, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Photo: Charlie Riedel, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP

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SOCHI, Russia — Organizers of the Sochi Games on Monday confirmed that they are using volunteers to fill the seats at less popular events.

Competitions at the games have so far varied from sell-outs at the ice-skating team event on Sunday to half-empty stands at biathlon.

Alexandra Kosterina, a spokeswoman for the Sochi organizing committee, said volunteers are enrolled in a motivation program, which means some of them will be offered tickets to see competitions after hours.

"If we see that there's not a turnout and there are seats available, then yes, we might invite volunteers to join in," Kosterina said.

Security concerns in Sochi have been feeding expectations that the games will not attract enough international spectators and that athletes will be performing to empty seats.

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