On Thursday, the countdown clock for the Tokyo Olympics
reached 50 days, bringing with it another issue for the postponed games.
Approximately 10,000 of the 80,000 unpaid volunteers for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have informed organizers that they will not be attending the games when they begin on July 23.
Some volunteers are expected to be vaccinated because they will have no contact with athletes or other key personnel, according to organizers.
In contrast, the IOC expects at least 80% of athletes and residents of the Olympic Village to be fully vaccinated, despite the fact that only about 2-3% of Japan
's general population has been fully vaccinated in a very slow rollout that is only now speeding up.
“We have not confirmed the individual reasons,” organizers said in a statement. “In addition to concerns about the coronavirus
infection, some dropped out because it would be difficult to work
after checking their work shift, or due to changes in their own environment
The postponed Olympics, according to organizers, will not be affected by the loss.
Volunteers typically receive a uniform, meals on the days they work, and daily commuting costs are covered, but they are responsible for their own lodging.
According to a study conducted for the International Olympic Committee
on volunteers at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, the value of 40,000 volunteers was at least $60 million.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary
of the Olympics, organizers unveiled the podiums, costumes, and music
that will be used during the medal ceremonies, and organizing committee president
Seiko Hashimoto assured athletes that the games would be safe.
“The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee will absolutely ensure that the athletes' health
is protected,” she stated.
In Japan, support for the Olympics remains low, with 50-80% of those polled saying the games should not begin on July 23.
Tokyo is officially spending $15.4 billion to organize the Olympics, but several government audits indicate that it is much more, with all but $6.7 billion coming from public funds, and the IOC contributing approximately $1.5 billion.
has been blamed for just over 13,000 deaths in Japan, far fewer than in most comparable countries but far more than in many Asian neighbors.
The Japanese soccer
association announced on Thursday that a member of the Ghana team had tested positive upon arrival in Tokyo, and that the player had been separated from the team and quarantined.
Earlier this week, Jamaican soccer players were unable to travel to Japan due to coronavirus testing issues, where they were scheduled to play a friendly against the Japanese national team.