Rounding up 80,000 volunteers is a daunting task, thus Tokyo 2020 is starting two years early.

The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is inviting potential volunteers to apply online starting September 26. Volunteers are needed to support the operation in a variety of roles – from spectator guidance to competition operation to media operation – at various locations including competition venues and at the Athletes’ Village.

Applicants must have been born prior to April 1, 2002, and be a Japanese national or a person with a valid visa permitting residence in Japan during the volunteer period (including temporary visitors).

The application period starts from 13:00 JST on September 26 and lasts until December 2018 (the exact closing date will be announced at a later time). Apply on the Tokyo 2020 website.

In parallel, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) plans to recruit city volunteers who will welcome and support the large number of foreign tourists expected visit Tokyo during the Olympic Games. Refer to the TMG website for more information.


Olympic Flame and Handover Ceremony

Tokyo 2020 also announced the Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony will take place in Ancient Olympia, home of the ancient Games in Greece, on March 12, 2020.

A modern high priestess will ignite the Olympic flame at the ancient Temple of Hera using the rays of the sun and a parabolic mirror. The Greek leg of the torch relay will then run for eight days. The ceremony to hand over the flame to Tokyo 2020 representatives will be held at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on March 19, 2020.

The flame will then make its way to Japan, arriving on March 20, 2020, and will be displayed for six days in Miyagi prefecture, Iwate prefecture and Fukushima prefecture to commemorate the earthquake and tsunami that struck the Tohoku region in March 2011. The Olympic torch relay will commence on March 26 under the theme of “Hope Lights Our Way,” taking in all of Japan’s 47 prefectures.

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori notes that the entire schedule of the 2020 Olympic torch relay has been decided and each prefecture has established its own committee to formulate the details of the route.

IOC Coordination Commission Chair John Coates said the IOC fully supports Tokyo 2020’s initiative to display the flame in the prefectures affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

“The Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay lighting will have a special significance in 2020, as we enter the tenth year since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami so badly affected the Tohoku area of Japan,” said Coates. “We hope that this symbolic act will underline the Olympic Movement’s support for the citizens of these regions, as well as allowing them to show the watching world the progress that they have made in rebuilding their lives and inspiring the local children through the Olympic values.”