Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Hasepoyo

Sports

How pandemic pushed Tokyo Olympics 2021 volunteer to quit


tokyo olympics japan

A red traffic light lights up on a street near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building displaying a banners of Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo on May 31, 2021 after the announcement that the governemrnt extended a coronavirus emergency in Tokyo and other parts of the country until just a month before the Olympics. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

TOKYO— Jun Hatakeyama applied to be an Olympic volunteer, filled with excitement that he could witness something greater than the Tokyo Games previously held in 1964.

But what he saw instead were mounting problems, including a plagiarism controversy over the Olympic logo and rising construction costs for Olympic venues.

His doubts about whether the Olympics should actually be held came to a head as Japan faced waves of COVID-19 and several states of emergency, eventually leading him to quit in April.

“I decided to resign to protect my own safety and to declare that I’m against holding the Olympics,” said the 21-year-old university student, who lives in a prefecture east of Tokyo.

Reuters wideo interview with university student Hatakeyama who quit being an Olympic volunteer. REUTERS 

Hatakeyama is one of about 10,000 of the 80,000 volunteers who have quit the Games because of worries over the pandemic and scheduling issues, according to numbers confirmed by the organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto on Wednesday.

Muto said fewer volunteers would not impact operations given no foreign spectators and a downscaling of events.

Tokyo 2020, already postponed from last year at the cost of an extra $3.5 billion, is set to start on July 23.

But with a slow vaccine rollout, Tokyo and nine other regions under a state of emergency, and rising numbers of severe coronavirus cases, most Japanese oppose hosting the Olympics.

“At a time when people have repeatedly been enduring the life of not being able to meet the people they want to meet for over a year, is it possible to hold a sports festival like the Olympics? Rather, is it necessary to hold the Games?” Hatakeyama said.

Doctors have warned the Olympics would pressure the healthcare system already under strain as they scramble find beds and staff, and warn of system collapse. Only 2.9% of the public have completed their inoculations, a Reuters tracker shows.

“The medical system is strained due to the coronavirus so if they were to hold the Olympics and the infections spread, who would take responsibility?,” asked Hatakeyama in a Zoom interview with Reuters. “It’s belittling human lives.”

RELATED STORIES


Read Next

Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.





Source link

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

U.S.

The leader of a small hard-line party says he will try to form a unity government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents. Sunday’s...

Tech

The woman who led the design of Bumble’s dating app in the run-up to the company’s February initial public offering is joining Twitter Inc.,...

Tech

Video platform Rumble said it is receiving an investment from a group of prominent conservative venture capitalists including Peter Thiel and “Hillbilly Elegy” author...

World

WASHINGTON (AFP) – All seven passengers aboard a plane, including Tarzan actor Joe Lara and his diet guru wife, are presumed dead after it...

Copyright © 2020 ZoxPress Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.