Tokyo 2020: 180,000 apply to be volunteers

Less than two years until next Olympic and Paralympic Games

the two mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games holding hands on stage Miraitowa (L) and Someity are the Olympic and Paralympic mascots for Tokyo 2020 © • Tokyo 2020

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has revealed that 186,101 applications for the Volunteer Programme have been received. Volunteers will enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide valuable support for the operation of the Games in a variety of roles, and their contribution will be a key factor in the Games' success.

Tokyo 2020 commenced accepting applications for the Games Volunteer Programme on 26 September 2018. Applicants range in age from teenagers to those in their 80s; 63 per cent are female and 37 per cent male, with 63 per cent having Japanese nationality and 37 per cent of applications coming from non-Japanese. A significant number of young people have applied, and the relatively large number of non-Japanese applicants highlights the strong level of global interest in the Games.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said, “We are pleased to have received so many applications. We appreciate applicants' understanding of the purpose of the Volunteer Programme and of our vision and will be providing various programmes as part of the orientation and training process to support and engage them before, during and after the Games.”

Interviews and orientation sessions for applicants residing in Japan will commence in February 2019, with general training following in October 2019. Orientation for successful overseas applicants will be held between March and July 2019 via video calls, with training to follow from June 2020. More details can be found on Tokyo 2020’s website.

Applications from those with a vision impairment may still be submitted; the deadline is 18 January 2019.