Olympics and sports events

How to become a Tokyo Olympic 2020 Volunteer

The next Summer Olympics are to be held in Tokyo, Japan‘s busy capital city for 2 weeks on July 24 to August 9, 2020

Similar to my experience with London 2012, I think “well why not sign up, it’s only an application”.  I have absolutely no idea where I will be in the world in 2020 but since I can now be described as a ‘digital nomad’ then it feels this could be possible.Web

Applications for the PyeongChang 2018 volunteer programme closed in September 2016.  Over 90.000 people applied for 22,400 volunteer positions for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, with the only restriction being a minimum age of 18.

The Tokyo 2020 programme will kick off in 2018, two years before the event. You can find all the information you need on the official website.  The only must-have is enthusiasm.  The chance to go for a uniquely exceptional experience is at your fingertips!

What would I be doing?

There were 50,000 positions for Rio 2016, for example.  Volunteers’ areas of expertise on the huge Olympic stage take many forms and in all languages, with athletes and teams, with spectators, and during the competitions themselves.  Customer service, press and communications, health services, technology, protocol and languages, transport, opening and closing ceremonies, operational support for the Organising Committee, sports events, etc.London 2012 gamesmaker logo

As London 2012 Organising Committee Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe put it, “[volunteers] are the lifeblood of the Olympic Games.

What are the benefits of volunteering?

London 2012 meOlympic volunteering is a chance to meet people from all backgrounds, and to focus individual and collective energy on serving others.  Volunteers are given exclusive training and receive a uniform.  A fantastic opportunity for your own personal development, the pleasure of being actively involved in a global celebration, and the satisfaction that comes from that.

But do I need to be local or live in the host country?

Anyone can be a volunteer at the Olympic Games.  Volunteers will play a vital role in the smooth operation of the Games, providing support and information at competition venues and in the Olympic Village. They will be engaged before, during and after the Games.  Applications for volunteer roles will be open and accepted from approximately July/August 2018.

You will need to be:
  • 18 years old or above as of April 1, 2020
  • able to participate in volunteer training sessions
  • a Japanese national or a foreign national with permission to stay in Japan (temporary visitors included)
  • able to volunteer for 10 or more days
  • enthusiastic and committed, with a genuine desire to contribute to the success of the Tokyo 2020 Games
  • willing to work as a part of a diverse team, and to treat other team members with respect

This information comes directly from the TOKYO 2020 website:

“Recruitment will, in principle, start around the summer of 2018. However, a portion of the City Volunteers for the Tokyo 2020 Games will be recruited ahead of schedule, starting at the end of FY2017 to first support Rugby World Cup 2019 (RWC2019). That experience will then be applied to the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

For the 2020 Volunteer Strategy document, you can click here.  It’s long but informed.

Key websites:

Useful information coming soon

  • Visas
  • Accommodation
  • Flights

I will let you know as soon as the application process is open!

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