TOKYO (JAPAN) – Nearly 1,000 Olympics volunteers have quit over the past month during which time organising committee president Yoshiro Mori quit due to sexist remarks and a new president was chosen to replace him organisers said.
The total number of 80,000 volunteers were recruited by Tokyo 2020 and organisers have said they don’t expect running the Games will be affected, since the number quitting is only about 1% of the total. They added that not all those volunteers who stepped down recently were quitting due to Mori’s comments. Surveys have shown volunteers repeatedly expressing concerns about the coronavirus.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has recruited another 30,000 volunteers separately.
In addition, the postponement of the Games has affected some volunteers, who were in a position to help last year but aren’t this year, due to job changes or other lifestyle changes, such as having to care for small children.
Volunteers are the backbone of any Games, performing everything from guiding people to venues, translating and driving visitors around. A significant drop in their numbers could be another hurdle for Tokyo 2020, already hit by an unprecedented year-long postponement and a lack of public support fuelled by concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
The Olympics are due to run from July 23 to August 8.