More than 60 per cent of Tokyo 2020 volunteers worried about coronavirus, survey reveals

FILE PHOTO: Visitors wearing protective face masks pose for a photo through the Olympic rings in front of Japan Olympics Museum, a day before the start of the one-year countdown to the Tokyo Olympics that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan July 22, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO, 11 AUGUST 2020 (INSIDE THE GAMES)—More than 60 per cent of volunteers registered for next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have stated their concerns about how anti-coronavirus measures will be implemented, according to a recent survey by organisers.

In a questionnaire sent to volunteers set to work at venues and the Athletes’ Village, the biggest worry reported was how the Games will be held and with what safety measures in place.

This was recorded by more than two thirds – 66.8 per cent – of respondents.

The online survey was conducted between July 1 and 21, with approximately 26,000 people answering.

It is expected that the Games will be “simplified” after an agreement between the Organising Committee and the International Olympic Committee, with the aim of cutting costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were supposed to end yesterday, but were pushed back to 2021 due to the global health crisis.

The Olympics are now scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8 next year, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.

The survey also found that 21.5 per cent of respondents believe that they may no longer be able to volunteer for the Games due to the impact the pandemic has had on their studies or job situation.

It also revealed that 57.6 per cent of volunteers were working on their physical fitness ahead of the Games, while 57.2 per cent were hoping to learn English or another foreign language.

The Organising Committee is expected to meet in September to discuss how they will host the Games, with COVID-19 still failing to subside.

It has also now started to reconfirm with volunteers whether they can still commit to the Games due to the postponement, with this process expected to continue through to August 20.

More than 200,000 people applied to be volunteers, surpassing the organisers’ target of 80,000.

Training started in October of last year, but was suspended due to the pandemic.

More Stories