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A volunteer walks in an empty tribune during the tennis competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Thousands of Olympic volunteers have quit because of long hours, little food


Nobody quits at the Olympics -- except, apparently, the volunteers who make it possible.

Rio fielded 50,000 volunteers for the games, but 15,000 of them have quit over harsh working conditions.

"They were told to work eight, nine hours and were only provided with a little snack," former volunteer Luis Moreira told CBC.

It's not for lack of funds. CBC reports the International Olympic Committee has made $5.6 billion in four years and gives its executives a $900 per diem.

The committee uses the volunteers to make money, uses us for free labour.
Luis Moreira

Come early, stay late

"Volunteers are the backbone of the games," IOC communications director Mark Adams said. "We could do it a different way. But I think volunteers are something we really do appreciate." 

With almost a third of its volunteers gone, remaining volunteers are now being called in early and told to stay late.

If nothing else, the U.S. team seems to appreciate the volunteers.

All part of the plan?

Organizers told the New York Daily News volunteers quitting was factored into their plans.

The Olympics have been plagued by problems before and during the games, including U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte getting robbed at gunpoint (despite the IOC's denial), pools mysteriously turning green and drugs being sold with fake Olympic branding.

Are Olympic volunteers right to complain?

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