TOKYO — More than 110,000 Olympic volunteers had their dream summer all mapped out for 2020. But now, with the Games postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic and for many still in doubt, they are left waiting in limbo, lives on hold. Hiromi Yamamura and others had hoped to make friends from around the globe in an experience of a lifetime. Instead, the unsung backbone of any Olympics – its corps of volunteers – has had to recalibrate lives, put vacations or returns to home countries on hold and seek out part-time jobs in Japan so they are still free to volunteer. Volunteers acknowledged their uncertainty was small in the face of the pandemic's brutal global cost, but it's nonetheless taking a toll. Even as organisers swear the Games will go ahead as rescheduled this summer, some are nervous and pondering changes of plan. "I'm actually wavering about taking part now," said Yamamura, 40, who lives in southwestern Japan, far from Tokyo. "Getting to Tokyo is expensive, and thanks to the pandemic, my finances are unstable. But the biggest reason is, it's really hard to maintain motivation in this unclear situation." A screen displays an online gathering… Read full this story
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