Volunteering at the Olympics?

So last year, I applied to be a Volunteer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It was a dream of mine to be on the field as athletes did their amazing feats. Plus, it would get me into Olympic venues without having to purchase a ticket!

According to the timetable of the volunteer website, people who registered to volunteer would be contacted in the early part of 2019 and know if they would be granted an interview. I was so excited that I even had a special section of this blog to let people know of updates!

But then, 2019 arrived, and we waited.

And waited.

And waited!

We heard the name of Olympic volunteers ("Field Cast" and "City Cast"), and even caught sight of what the uniforms were going to look like, but no contact to volunteers about their applications.

Finally, I got an email today from the Tokyo 2020 Volunteer Committee:

Thank you for applying to the Tokyo 2020 Games volunteer programme. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to you and to the more than 200,000 other applicants for your interest and enthusiasm in supporting the Tokyo 2020 Games.

We have completed the next step of the volunteer application review process, which is to match each applicant’s preferences (volunteer category, location, etc.) with the 80,000 available positions.

Unfortunately, as the number of applications far exceeded the number of available volunteer positions, we regret to inform you that we were unable to match any available positions with the preferences specified in your application. Please know that this is not a reflection on your valuable interests and abilities, but simply because the overwhelming response we received made it impossible to match them with a volunteer opportunity.

Please accept our token of appreciation for your application with a video message from Japan’s Olympic and Paralympic legends and a screen wallpaper at the URL below.


We hope we can count on your continued support for the Tokyo 2020 Games and the participating Olympic and Paralympic athletes. We once again thank you for your interest in the volunteer programme, and we hope to see you stay involved as we look forward to next year’s Tokyo 2020 Games.

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee
Tokyo 2020 Games Volunteer Office

So my desire to serve as a volunteer in Tokyo came to an end. Apparently, over 200,000 people applied for 80,000 positions. With no real background in assisting in efforts like this in the past, I really didn't have much of a chance.

Included in the email was links to some cute stuff, which is probably "exclusive" to applicants but will appear to everyone eventually thanks to the Internet.

The first was a video from Takahashi Naoko, chairperson of the Athlete's Commission of the Tokyo Organizing Committee, thanking us for applying and urging us to support the Olympics regardless, as well as Vicechairperson Kawai Junichi.

We also received a downloadable wallpaper, which is pretty great. I plan on using these when the time gets closer! (My wallpapers always adjust to what is coming up.)

Finally, we got a link to something called LINE. I've never seen it before, and in doing research, LINE is a messaging app that is used in Japan mostly. It would be nice to have, but I also never use stuff like LINE!

So how am I feeling about this? Well I am disappointed that I won't get the chance to serve as a volunteer. That would have been an incredible experience.

However, I'm also glad and relieved that I didn't put all my eggs in the volunteer basket. When I didn't hear anything, I kind of gave up on it and pursued the ticket lottery. At least that didn't let me down! And thanks to my success there, I was able to get decent lodging, too!

While this door closed, another one opened. And I'm glad I have some closure about it. I would have been doubting if I'd submitted my application properly and if I'd had a chance if I had done it right!

The checklist for Tokyo continues. Right now I'm just working and paying back my credit card. Once 2020 hits, then I'll be really investigating airlines and whether or not I want to extend my trip on either side. And maybe...Tokyo Disneyland?

Who knows? When the volunteer applications show up for Los Angeles 2028, I'll be one of the first in line!

Weekly Cauldron Check

Is the cauldron lit????

...No. But it will be in less than eleven months!

I'm Claire Nat and you're reading Light The CauldronFollow me on Twitter and Facebook @CauldronLight and read my past Olympic articles! Look back on previous posts to hear about my trips to the US Curling National Championships, the US Figure Skating Championships, and my very successful quest to acquire tickets for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics!


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