Some frequently asked questions about the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay.
Selection of torchbearers
Based on the "Basic Requirements for Torchbearer Applicants" and the "Basic Approach to Torchbearer Selection" provided in the Torchbearer Application Requirements Form released by each recruiting organisation (Prefecture Task Forces and the four Presenting Partners), the recruiting organisation makes the selection and sends the list of candidates to the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee for final approval.
Appropriate candidates will be selected as torchbearers. There will be no draw, and the selection will not be made on a first come, first served basis.
We estimate that there will be about 10,000 torchbearers. The exact number will be determined after the precise relay route is fixed.
Applicants must be born on or before 1 April 2008.
There is no particular age group that will be given preference or priority. The torchbearers will be selected from a broad field of runners who meet the selection criteria. To ensure a fair and open relay, we will strive to maintain a balance in terms of nationality, gender and age (there will be an age limit for safety reasons) as well as those with/without an impairment.
Recruitment of torchbearers
We will select about 10,000 torchbearers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, chosen in accordance with the selection criteria and taking into consideration a balanced selection in terms of nationality, gender and age, as well as those with/without an impairment. We will make our best efforts to give a chance to as many people as possible from the general public who apply.
Recruitment of torchbearers will be carried out by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Prefecture Task Forces (PTFs) and the four Presenting Partners of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay: Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, Limited (Coca-Cola Japan); Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota); Nippon Life Insurance Company (Nippon Life); and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Company (NTT).
Coca-Cola Japan started recruiting on 17 June 2019. Toyota, Nippon Life and NTT began recruiting on 24 June 2019. The PTFs started their recruitment on 1 July 2019.
The "Torchbearer Application Requirements" and the "Basic Approach to Torchbearers Selection" are stiupulated by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, and they will be equally adopted by all the organisations that are recruiting torchbearers. The basic conditions applied are basically the same among all recruiting organisations, but there may be some slight differences depending on the organisation. The selection will be made by each recruiting organisation based on the selection criteria they set forth. For more details, please confirm with the recruiting organisation you apply to.
Each applicant may send in one application to each of the five recruiting organisations, so you may apply five times maximum. The recruiting organisations are: the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Prefecture Task Forces (PTFs) and the Presenting Partners of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay: Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, Limited (Coca-Cola Japan); Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota); Nippon Life Insurance Company (Nippon Life); and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Company (NTT). Please note that you may apply to only one PTF in the prefecture of your choice.
It will differ from one recruiting organisation to another.
A person may apply regardless of his/her nationality. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee instructed the recruiting organisations to accept applications in Japanese as well as in English.
A person living outside of Japan may also apply, regardess of his/her nationality. Please note that if you are selected as a torchbearer, you are responsible to pay for the travel and transportation costs you incur to reach the meeting place for your leg of the torch relay.
A person with an impairment is welcome to apply. However, we request all torchbearers to safely carry the torch at their own will. We accept an escort runner if such support is required.
We ask applicants to provide us with the preferred prefecture (or city/town) in which they wish to run, but please note that we cannot guarantee that the applicant's preferred date and place will be met.
We ask applicants to provide us with the preferred prefecture (or city/town) in which they wish to run, but a particular route of the relay cannot be specified. Please note that we request applicants to have some kind of connection to their preferred prefecture.
The Torch Relay in Greece is organised by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC). We are recruiting torchbearers only for the Torch Relay that will take place in Japan.
The application method is the same for all applicants, including people with a visual impairment, but we have asked the recruiting organisations to make the necessary arrangements to ensure that everyone may apply. Please check the application requirements released by each recruiting organisation using the screen reader fuction. If you still require additional support, please check with the recruiting organisation to which you wish to apply. Please note that when you apply, we may ask if you require any additional support to run as a torchbearer.
If you were selected as a torchbearer, you were notified via email or postal mail in December 2019. We did not send any notification to those who were not selected. However, if a position becomes vacant before two weeks prior to the scheduled run, we may contact an applicant who was not selected to fill the vacancy.
Please contact the recuriting organisation to which you sumbitted your application. If you have already been selected as a torchbearer, please notify the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.
Under unavoidable circumstances, you may cancel your run as a torchbearer, but you will not be able to have someone replace you (a proxy runner). If you are unable to run for whatever unavoidable reason after you have been selected as a torchbearer, please inform the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee immediately.
The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will inform all torchbearers of their date and route of the torch relay run after the middle of February 2020.
The Torch Relay may be cancelled on the day of the run due to a natural disaster, bad weather, incidents and accidents or for other unavoidable reasons. In principle, the torchbearers will be contacted via email to the address provided by the torchbearer.
Yes, you may. However, you are prohibited from using your role as a torchbearer for religious or political purposes, or for personal promotion or publicity.
Based on the consent you have given on the application form, there is a possibility that you are asked to give an interview before your run.
Torchearers will be selected by the recruiting organisations (PTFs and the Presenting Partners). Nobody will be able to become a torchbearer by contributing money. Also, torchbearers are forbidden to sell their right to run in the torch relay.
The PTFs, the Presenting Partners, the Official Marketing Partners, the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will recruit the torchbearer candidates and submit the list of candidates to the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will then determine the final selection of the torchbearers.
There will be no recruitment program for escorts. Those who require support in order to run the torch relay will be allowed to be accompanied by one escort.
You are free to apply for both.
The torch relay run
Each torchbearer will run about 200 metres. (Please note that the running distance may be more or may be less than 200 metres. Torchbearers may run at their own speed and at a relaxed pace.)
If required, you will be allowed to run with an assistance dog.
Those who require support to run will be allowed to run with one escort.
The minimum age requirement for escorts is the same as the torchbeaers: they must be born on or before 1 April 2008. All other basic requirements, including the regulations about politics and religion, will be the same as the basic requirements for torchbearer applicants.
Participation will be free of charge, but participants must cover their own transportation and accommodation costs to reach the meeting point for the torach relay.
Participation will be free of charge, but you must pay for your own round-trip transportation (and accommodation if necessary). There will be no refund in the event that the Torch Relay is cancelled for unavoidable reasons. The same rule applies for the leg of the relay route that will take place on one of the remote islands.
A uniform (long or short-sleeve shirt, long or short pants) will be distributed to the torchbearers on the day of their run. Torchbearers will not be allowed to wear shirts or pants other than the uniform. Shoes are not included in the uniform, so please bring your own running shoes. A more detailed guideline will be available after the final selection of the torchbearers.
Torchbearers will not be allowed to wear shirts, pants or any other item of clothing other than the uniform. They may also be asked to remove accessories or jewellery as well.
There are no plans to organise any orientation. All necessary information will be sent to the designated email address of each torchbearer. After signing in at the reception desk on the day of the run, torchbearers will be given instructions and cautions before their run.
On the day of their run, torchbearers will be asked to present their personal identification, such as a driver's license or a passport. Failure to present valid identification may result in the cancellation of your run.
Torchbearers will be required to report to the meeting point (where they will collect their uniform) and will be dismissed at a designated location after they complete their leg of the Torch Relay. After they report to the meeting point, torchbearers will, in principle, be required to stay with the other torchbearers. There will be no particular waiting area for their families.
Torchbearers will be allowed to bring their mobile phones with them during their run, but in order to ensure the safety of all those involved, we will prohibit the torchbearers taking selfies during their run. They are free to take photos in areas that will not interfere with the Torch Relay operation.
As stated in the application requirements, applicants are required to give consent upon submitting their application to become a torchbearer.
The torch relay route
Based on the "Basic Approach to the Route Selection" presented by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the PTFs established the routes in each prefecture, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee compiled the information, and the IOC approved the routes.
Based on the "Basic Approach to the Route Selection" presented by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, a route that will allow many people across the nation of Japan see the Torch Relay, and a route that will introduce the charm and attractions of Japan was selected.
There are no plans to release such images.
A 'celebration' refers to a special event celebrating the arrival of the flame carried by the final torchbearer of the day. A 'celebration will take place at the end of each day of the Torch Relay.
There will be various stage performances, the Presenting Partners will set up commercial display booths, and the last torchbearer of the day will arrive at the 'celebration' site and transfer the Olympic flame to a celebration cauldron.
The 'celebration' sites were chosen in each of the municipalities hosting the last leg of the Torch Relay of the day. The site met a number of requirements, including a capacity of about 1,000-3,000, and the accessibility of large-size vehicles.
Uniforms will not be sold.
The torch will not be sold. Torchbearers will be able purchase a torch.