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Nearly 10,000 volunteers drop out of Tokyo Olympics, 50 days before the games open

Virus Outbreak Olympics Tokyo 2020
Posted at 11:20 AM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 13:20:55-04

TOKYO — With just 50 days to go before the Opening Ceremony, organizers with the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics say they have learned about 10,000 of the 80,000 unpaid volunteers will not participate, according to multiple media reports.

Organizers said some dropped out because of concerns about COVID-19, while others cited factors such as changes in their own schedules and working environment, according to NHK Japan.

Committee Director General Muto Toshiro says the withdrawal of so many volunteers will not pose a problem to the overall operation of the games.

Few volunteers were expected to be vaccinated by the time the games open on July 23, since most will not have contact with athletes or other personnel, according to the Associated Press.

Overall, only about 3% of Japan's population has been fully vaccinated. The Olympic committee has repeatedly said the games will be safe, after calls from health experts in Japan and abroad to cancel the games amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

With just over a month to go, the committee also announced details of the victory ceremony and podiums. The podiums where athletes will receive their medals were made with donated household plastic waste and used 3D printing technology.