Being a Tokyo Olympics Volunteer, the Best Moment of My Year | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
tokyo 2020 olympics volunteering

Being a Tokyo Olympics Volunteer, the Best Moment of My Year

By Devy Aug 12, 2021

Working as a Tokyo Olympics volunteer, what was it like? Did you consider it? 

The last game finished on Sunday, and now the world will wait two more weeks until the start of the Paralympics. Did your favorite athlete win any medals? Congrats to those who have!

And for those who didn’t, keep your spirit up! It is important to remember that being in the biggest competition in the world is a huge, huge achievement. Congratulations to everyone! 

The existence of this prestigious sporting event in Tokyo is really a great opportunity for everyone, especially the opportunity to be part of it and become the witness of the whole progress of the fantastic Tokyo 2020. 

tokyo 2020 olympics volunteering venue

Photo by the Author

The existence of this prestigious sporting event in Tokyo is really a great opportunity for everyone, especially the opportunity to be part of it and to witness the whole progression of the fantastic Tokyo 2020 games.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics also offer a huge opportunity for everyone by providing volunteer activities welcomed by the community! All different kinds of communities were trying their best to be a part of Olympic history. 

After collecting some information from my colleagues and my personal experience, I would like to share the experience of volunteering for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

By participating in this huge event, we have personally experienced a lot of valuable, irreplaceable lessons. Such learning opportunities may not easily appear in the future! 

What Do Tokyo Olympic Volunteers Do? 

First and foremost, the volunteers are given tasks according to the interests and abilities of each individual. The Olympics directs everyone to develop their own talent by giving them the freedom to choose according to their interests and abilities. 

For instance, if a volunteer feels confident with their photo skills, they may be assigned to the press photo team to support the event. 

And the event service team were assigned to support the game by controlling the audience and tidying up inside the venue. But as the Tokyo area did not allow live audiences in the venues, the event service members were encouraged to do other activities and assist in other field cast areas. 

We also had the right to choose which venue is the most convenient for us or which one appeals the most for us to work with. This was very helpful because the volunteers were able to decide due to our own preferences. 

We definitely got way more out of the experience than expected. The workload was good and could be adjusted according to our choices. Even though some of us had a lot of free time, it didn’t reduce the value of being inside the competition! Actually, we were able to watch the matches close-up, share stories with fellow volunteers, and do other useful and fun activities without any aggravating limitations.

tokyo 2020 olympics volunteering group

Photo by the Author

Making New Friends

One of the most impactful parts of the experience was making Japanese and international friends! It was a great opportunity for us to make friends, even though we were first worried about not having someone to talk to, or we were concerned with our ability to speak in Japanese. 

Nevertheless, it turns out we were able to make friends with both local Japanese and International participants. They were very welcoming and encouraged us to speak more confidently and were very helpful during the whole event. 

Everyone had a good Olympic spirit, satisfying levels of cooperation, and high respect for each other regardless of where everyone comes from. 

We all had the opportunity to exchange contact with each other, and the best part is that we made some plans to hang out together if the opportunity arose in the future to get to know each other. Looking forward to that!

Watch the Game Closely!

Another advantage of being part of the event is that we had the unforgettable chance to meet and talk with the cool athletes, coaches, and managers. Such a blessing! 

During the game, while doing our tasks, it is at the same time a great opportunity to see world-class athletes competing for medals directly in front of us!

The euphoria was amazing, hyping up the venue by supporting all athletes to increase their enthusiasm and confidence. 

Most likely, being right inside the venue and having the opportunity to see and talk with the athlete is what all the volunteers look forward to the most.

tokyo 2020 olympics volunteering hallPhoto by the Author

I Learned So Much More

Another valuable memory is that we had so many opportunities to learn something new. For instance, as a person who is new to golf, I learned a lot about golf basics, which hyped up my euphoria during the game.

Additionally, as foreigners, we had a chance to closely watch the famous Japanese work ethic and culture. Due to the limitation of volunteers working in Tokyo 2020, most of the volunteers are local Japanese. We were able to see the typical Japanese work culture such as saying “otsukaresamadeshita” to each other and behaving well, following the Japanese work ethic standard. 

Moreover, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics committee gave us lots of useful stuff! We received a full uniform set with the Olympics emblem, many badges with different meanings (some of them were given by the athlete’s team, representing their countries!), great food, and other items that are not able to be found outside of the Olympics. 

Being a Volunteer Gave Me Valuable Memories and Quality Friends

We had so much fun joining the Tokyo 2020 Olympics! It was a totally unforgettable and irreplaceable experience that we will always remember. 

If you have any chance to join the Olympics volunteering team in the future, I highly recommend you join! There is no harm in participating; in fact, you earn so much more! 

Stay tuned for more info regarding the Paris 2024 Olympics!

Devy Mufliha,