10,000 Tokyo Olympic Volunteers Quit Citing COVID-19 Concern

Tokyo Olympic organizers said reasons for dropouts ranged from scheduling conflicts to COVID-19 concerns, according to a statement.

Video Transcript

- [SPEAKING JAPANESE]

LAUREN MAGARINO: The Summer Olympics are now less than 50 days away, Tokyo 2020 highlighting the countdown by unveiling costumes, podiums, and music for the summer victory ceremony.

- [SPEAKING JAPANESE]

LAUREN MAGARINO: The organizing committee president saying she can hear the steps of athletes crossing the ocean and heading to Tokyo. But behind the pomp and circumstance is a mass exodus. 10,000 of the games' 80,000 unpaid volunteers have called it quits already. Organizers said in a statement, reasons for drop outs ranged from scheduling conflicts to COVID-19 concerns, and said the loss wouldn't affect operations.

- [SPEAKING JAPANESE]

LAUREN MAGARINO: Tokyo's prevention measures resemble what most are already familiar with-- masks, distancing, and sanitizing. But the committee won't help vaccinate most of its volunteers. Organizers have said only a few who will be around athletes and key personnel will have access to a shot. And most of Japan is still in a state of emergency. Japan's vaccination efforts have been slow going, just half a million administered each day. Only 2% to 3% of its population is fully vaccinated. And Japan's support for the global event is lackluster. 50% to 80% of people, depending on how the question is phrased, say the games should not open on July 23. Lauren Magarino, Newsy Chicago.