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Ten thousand Olympics volunteers quit 50 days before Games begin

IWAKI, JAPAN - MARCH 25: A torch bearer waves to the crowd surrounded by security as the torch relay passes through downtown area during the Tokyo Olympic Games torch relay on March 25, 2021 in Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan. (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)

As the Tokyo Olympics draw closer, the event continues to run up against problems.

Roughly 10,000 of the 80,000 unpaid volunteers for the Olympics and Paralympics have told organizers they will not participate when the Games begin on July 23.

With only 2-3 percent of Japan’s general population fully vaccinated, some volunteers have dropped out over concerns about COVID-19. The IOC expects at least 80 percent of athletes and residents of the Olympic Village to be fully vaccinated.

“We have not confirmed the individual reasons,” organizers said in a statement. “In addition to concerns about the coronavirus infection, some dropped out because they found it would be difficult to actually work after checking their work shift, or due to changes in their own environment.”

The volunteers’ exit reportedly will not affect the operations of the already postponed Olympics.