Participating in the Olympics is an opportunity to be on the world stage. It is a chance to let your light shine and brighten the lives of people from all over the world. While the number of people that we Tokyo 2020 volunteers will get to interact with is going to be smaller than originally anticipated, our ability to impact the world has not been diminished.
Field Cast members, as we Tokyo 2020 Olympic volunteers are called, have many reasons for taking part in the games. In previous posts, Carlos Hernandez talked about having gratitude for his life in Japan and Tokyo 2020 being his opportunity to give back. Aimee-Lee Nash also shared her excitement for being part of history in the story Olympic Spirit South African Style.
Since then, I have talked to many other volunteers who are excitedly looking forward to coming together for this life-altering experience. Some people carve out their lives around volunteering while others happen to be in the right place at the right time and are looking to thrive on that serendipity.
Chelanna White is from Canada and missed taking part in the Vancouver 2010 games, because she was living in France at the time. This time, despite living in Kyoto, which is almost 500 Km (300 miles) away from Tokyo, she is determined to take part in the games. I can relate. I lived in California during the 1984 games and would have loved to have volunteered but did not take the initiative to do so. Tabata Petunia is from Columbia and was also hoping to help at Tokyo 2020 but missed registration, which actually took place 3 years ago!
Jenny Cornick is a horse enthusiast. Fortunately for her, she was assigned to help with equestrian events. The equestrian events are one of the few that will be taking place in the bubble. All the athletes, support staff, and volunteers will be staying at the same hotel and take shuttle buses to events. “I love Tokyo, and equestrian sports, and want to promote them,” Jenny said in anticipation of the games.
Jessii Parham is also supporting equestrian events. She is a serial volunteer assisting at events all over the world. “I love to meet people and experience this with like-minded people.’ She said, ‘ I enjoy traveling and learning about cultures. And being a part of something like the Olympics is a great honor on its own.”
Kimiko Kimori didn’t have to travel halfway around the world to take part in Tokyo 2020. She is from Tokyo. Her experience in hospitality and hospitals has helped her to develop a strong sense of customer service. When asked why she is volunteering, her reply was, “These experiences are an opportunity to expand your activities to the world. I can still speak English, so I definitely wanted to join the team behind the scenes of the Tokyo Olympics, look at things from various angles, and join the bridge of world peace.”
At the end of the day, I believe that all of us Tokyo 2020 Field Cast members are excited to help make the world a better place through our service, participation, and sharing of positivity. We have a saying among volunteers, “I will shine.” Despite the year of waiting, the challenges brought on by Corona and the thousands of people that resigned from the Field Cast team, those of who are left, City Cast included, intend to show the world that Tokyo is an awesome place and that there are people here who are determined to be beacons of hope for the entire world.