January 24, 2019 / 8:24 AM / in a year

Olympics: Over 200,000 people volunteer for Tokyo 2020

The main wooden roof section of the Olympic Gymnastic Centre for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics is installed under construction at Ariake district in Tokyo, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo November 7, 2018. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo 2020 organizers said on Thursday over 200,000 people have applied to be volunteers at next year’s Olympic Games, far exceeding their expectations for the extravaganza.

A total of 204,680 people from Japan and overseas had applied to the program, said the organizers who initially had hoped for 80,000 volunteers.

The encouraging number is an indication of the building excitement 18 months out from the summer showpiece with 64 percent of the applications coming from women, while 36 percent were overseas applicants, they said.

According to figures emailed to Reuters last month, over half the applicants were aged under 30.

Volunteers provide support for athletes, supporters and members of the media during the competition, which runs from July 24 to Aug. 9.

Volunteers will also be needed at the Paralympic Games that start on Aug. 25.

Reporting by Jack Tarrant

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