Stressful wait for foreign volunteers from Tokyo Games – 10/02/2021

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Tokyo, 10 February 2021 (AFP) – Judith Gurnay wants to know if she will be able to participate in the Tokyo Games (from 23 July to 8 August), not as an athlete, but as a volunteer within the organizing committee, But like thousands of people, this British woman is waiting for the epidemic to develop.

“We should be required,” but our status of organizers’ priorities is “pretty well down the list”, Gurney told AFP.

About 9,600 foreigners living inside or outside Japan volunteered to help organize the Games, which was postponed for a year in 2020 due to the Kovid-19 epidemic.

For the 73-year-old Brit, who has already booked airline tickets, uncertainty about the incident is distressing, at a time when the health crisis is far from resolved and when rumors of an Olympic event postpone, and here Even its cancellation increases day by day.

“Everything is very bleak,” says this resident of Ipswich in the east of England, who has “invested money” into the project and has already received the first dose of the vaccine, although the organizers of the games have guaranteed that This condition will not be mandatory.

Since his application was accepted in April 2019, Gurni has been keen to contribute to the success of organizing athletics events at the new Tokyo National Stadium, where he will be provided with interviews between athletes and journalists.

Judith Gurnay is part of a community of Olympic volunteers who travel the world with the ‘pretext’ of the Games. They do not get a penny for their work, but what they appreciate the most is being able to participate in a planetary event, travel and meet people from different countries.

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– “I try to stay positive” – ​​Of the 80,000 volunteers recruited by the organization for two weeks of the game, about 12% are not Japanese, from 120 countries and territories.

Despite the postponement of the Olympics, preparations for volunteers living abroad were maintained. According to the Tokyo-2020 Organizing Committee, in October, approximately 2,700 people from abroad participated in the online training.

Amiravelda Priono, from Suraiya (Indonesia) and fluent in English and French, will serve as a key figure in cycling events as well as in an apparently unbroken country like Japan.

The 26-year-old said Priano regretted the previous March decision to postpone the games, but “I try to stay positive.”

For example, she decided that the deferred period would start learning Japanese and raise more money to cover her travel and accommodation expenses, but she would not book flights until she received her ‘plan’ from the organizing committee in March or April.

– Learning Japanese – “If they are canceled, I will be sad and disappointed, but at the same time, I think it will be better”, Priino assumed.

Judith Gurney and Amiravelda Priano believe their position will become clear at the beginning of the second quarter, when the organizers decide whether there will be spectators at the Olympic venues.

But some frustrated volunteers have already canceled their trips according to Britain.

Other volunteers based in Japan take the opportunity to deepen their language skills with the help of the organizing committee.

“Everyone learns every day, they learn common Japanese phrases” and in sign language that all volunteers will understand, says Udiyot Verma, 26, an Indian computer scientist who lives in Tokyo, who will work in boxing events .

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Mary O’Leary, 61, hopes she will be able to travel from the UK to help organize equestrian events, although she admits she won’t feel “comfortable” after receiving the vaccine.

“The zealous sportswoman explains,” This is a great way without the need to buy tickets.

Last week, a scandal rocked the organizing committee: The president of the organization, former Prime Minister, Yoshiaro Mori, 83, made a statement during a meeting with officials of the organization, stating that “women compete to speak more and Irritable “.

According to the Japanese press, due to these sexist claims, hundreds of volunteers quit participating in the Games.

But Amiravelda Priano guarantees that the controversy did not affect her enthusiasm for the event. “It’s wrong to be sexist, but everyone makes mistakes,” he said.

kaf / sah / ras / jr / mcd / psr / lca

About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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