Volunteers play an integral role in the success of any Games. Meet some of the people you will see in Japan's capital next year.
On 5 December, the world celebrates International Volunteers Day. Volunteers are essential for the success of many events, and they will play a huge role in making the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 an unforgettable experience for audiences.
Volunteerism is the very foundation, and also one of the core values of the Olympic Movement. For each edition of the Games, there are thousands of people, of all ages, cultures and origins, sharing the same emotions and passion for sport and the Olympic ideals of excellence, respect and friendship.
Eighty-thousand people will take part as a volunteer in Tokyo 2020. A total of 204,680 people in Japan and overseas applied to participate. This large group of volunteers is diverse with people of all ages, genders and nationalities with their ages ranging from teens to those in their 80s while 12 per cent are non-Japanese, coming from 120 nationalities.
Volunteers will enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide valuable support for the Games operations in a variety of roles, and their contribution will be a key factor for the Games’ success.
In November, during the First Field Cast Volunteer Training Sessions in English, Tokyo 2020 asked different Olympic and Paralympic Volunteers about their reasons to be involved in the Games.
Novicia Ghina Ranalia (20 years old – Indonesia)
“The Olympic and Paralympic Games will be a once in a lifetime experience. I was very nervous and excited when I was accepted. Now, I want to make the most of it. I want to gain new friends, meeting new people and gain experience. I hope I’ll be a better person after the Games.”
Herath Pathirannahalage Pasindu (21 years old - Sri Lanka)
“There are several reasons I want to be a volunteer. First, I am receiving a scholarship from Japan and I want to give my very best to the country. Second, I want to meet people from different countries and regions, get new experiences. And third, I want to improve my own skills and share my skills with other people.”
James Holland (67 years old – USA) and Kazue Holland (58 years old – Japan)
“After living abroad for a while, we returned to Japan recently. We want to give back to the community and help the people visiting out. We want to communicate with people from all around the world, make new friends and take home loads of good memories.”
Eva Park (38 years old – USA)
“Tokyo has been great to me and I want to give back to the country who has welcomed me for the last years. I was super excited when I knew I was accepted to be a volunteer. I hope I can be helpful and be able to walk away at the end of the Games knowing that I contributed in some way.”
Andrew Bell (37 years old – USA)
“I am very happy I can be part of the Tokyo 2020 Games. I know Japan can be a little bit overwhelming when you visit for the first time. I hope I can help people out and make them feel very welcome here.”