Tokyo Olympics: 10K Volunteers Quit Over Covid Fears, Uncertainty of Games

3 Jun, 2021 13:56 IST|Sakshi Post

Around 10,000 of the 80,000 volunteers have withdrawn from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, according to organizers, as they battle lingering doubts about the games with only 50 days until the opening ceremony.

In an interview, Tokyo 2020 Chief Seiko Hashimoto ruled out a further postponement of the games, saying that cancellation would only occur in extreme circumstances, such as a majority of delegation being unable to travel to Japan.

On Thursday, organizers will mark the 50th day of the games by disclosing details about the medal ceremonies, in  latest attempt to build public enthusiasm despite polls showing that a majority of Japanese people want the Games postponed or cancelled.

Toshiro Muto, the CEO of Tokyo 2020, informed local media that roughly 10,000 volunteers, who are critical to the event's success, have resigned, citing fears about the coronavirus.

Others left after the games were postponed for a year, or in protest of Hashimoto's predecessor, who was forced to quit, for making sexist statements.

Some of the volunteers are likely to be among the almost 80% of Japanese citizens who oppose holding the games this year, according to polls.

However, studies of Tokyo residents have revealed a more equitable split between those in favor and those opposed to the games being held.

Muto stated that the decrease in volunteers would not affect the operation of the games because the event had been scaled down, requiring fewer volunteers.

Japan is experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus infections, with a state of emergency in place in Tokyo and many other parts of the country that will endure until a month before the games.

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