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Frequently Asked Questions

Selection of torchbearers

Q

How will the torchbearers be selected?

A

Based on the "Basic Requirements for Torchbeaer Applicants" and the "Basic Approach to Torchbearer Selection" provided in the Torchbearer Application Requirements Form released by each recruiting organisation (Prefecture Task Forces and the four Presenting Partners), the recruiting organisation makes the selection and sends the list of candidates to the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee for final approval.

Q

Will the selection be a draw or first-come-first-served?

A

Appropriate candidates will be selected as torchbearers. There will be no draw, and the selection will not be made on a first-come-first-served basis.

Q

How many torchbearers in total will there be nationwide?

A

We estimate that there will be about 10,000 torchbearers. The exact number will be determined after the precise relay route is fixed.

Q

Is there an age limit?

A

Applicants must be born on or before 1 April 2008.

Q

Is there a particular age group that has a better chance of being selected?

A

There is no particular age group that will be given preference or priority. The torchbearers will be selected from a broad field of runners who meet the selection criteria. To ensure a fair and open relay, we will strive to maintain a balance in terms of nationality, gender, and age (there will be an age limit for safety reasons) as well as those with/without an impairment.

Recruitment of torchbearers

Q

How many from the general public will be recruited?

A

We will select about 10,000 torchbearers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, chosen in accordance with the selection criteria and taking into consideration a balanced selection in terms of nationality, gender and age, as well as those with/without an impairment. We will make our best efforts to give a chance to as many people as possible from the general public who apply.

Q

What types of recruitment methods will there be?

A

Recruitment of torchbearers will be carried out by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Prefecture Task Forces (PTFs) and the four Presenting Partners of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay: Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, Limited (Coca-Cola Japan); Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota); Nippon Life Insurance Company (Nippon Life); and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Company (NTT).

Q

When will the recruitment start?

A

Coca-Cola Japan will start recruiting from 17 June 2019. Toyota, Nippon Life and NTT will begin recruiting from 24 June 2019. The PTFs will start their recruitment from 1 July 2019.

Q

Will the terms and conditions for recruitment and the selection criteria different between the companies and the prefectures recruiting torchbearers?

A

The "Torchbearer Application Requirements" and the "Basic Approach to Torchbearers Selection" are stiupulated by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, and they will be equally adopted by all the organisations that are recruiting torchbearers. The basic conditions applied are basically the same among all recruiting organisations, but there may be some slight differences depending on the organisation. The selection will be made by eash recruiting organisation based on the selection criteria they set forth. For more details, please confirm with the recruiting organisation you apply to.

Q

Can I apply more than once? Is there a limit to the number of applications I can send in?

A

Each applicant may send in one application to each of the five recruiting organisations, so you may apply five times maximum. The recruiting organisations are: the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Prefecture Task Forces (PTFs) and the Presenting Partners of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay: Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, Limited (Coca-Cola Japan); Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota); Nippon Life Insurance Company (Nippon Life); and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Company (NTT). Please note that you may apply to only one PTF in the prefecture of your choice.

Q

What are the expected odds for being selected?

A

It will differ from one recruiting organisation to another.

Q

Can a non-Japanese apply?

A

A person may apply regardless of hes/her nationality. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee instructed the recruiting organisations to accept applications in Japanese as well as in English.

Q

I live outside of Japan. Can I apply?

A

A person living outside of Japan may also apply, regardess of his/her nationality. Please note that if you are selected as a torchbearer, you are responsible to pay for the travel and transportation costs you incur to reach the meeting place for your leg of the torch relay.

Q

Can a person with an impairment apply?

A

A person with an impairment is welcome to apply, however, we request all torchbearers to safely carry the torch at their own will. We accept an escort runner if such support is required.

Q

Can I specify the date or location when I apply?

A

We ask applicants to provide us with the preferred prefecture (or city/town) in which they wish to run, but please note that we cannot guarantee that the applicant's preferred date and place will be met.

Q

Can I choose which route and leg I run?

A

We ask applicants to provide us with the preferred prefecture (or city/town) in which they wish to run, but a particular route of the relay cannot be specified. Please note that we request applicants to have some kind of connection to their preferred prefecture.

Q

Can I apply to the torch relay in Greece?

A

The torch relay in Greece is organised by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC). We are recruiting torchbearers only for the torch relay that will take place in Japan.

Q

Is there a separate application method for people with a visual impairment?

A

The application method is the same for all applicants, including people with a visual impairment, but we have asked the recruiting organisations to make the necessary arrangements to ensure that everyone may apply. Please check the application requirements released by each recruiting organisation using the screen reader fuction. If you still require additional support, please check with the recruiting organisation to which you wish to apply. Please note that when you apply, we may ask if you require any additional support to run as a torchbearer.

Q

When and how will applicants know the result?

A

If you are selected as a torchbearer, you will be notified of the result via email or postal mail in or after December 2019. We will not send any notification to those who were not selected. However, if a position becomes vacant before two weeks prior to the scheduled run, we may contact an applicant who was not selected to fill the vacancy.

Q

What should I do if my name, postal address or email address changes after I submit my application?

A

Please contact the recuriting organisation to which you sumbitted your application. If you have already been selected as a torchbearer, please notify the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.

Q

Can I cancel after being selected?

A

Under unavoidable circumstances, you may cancel your run as a torchbearer, but you will not be able to have someone replace you (a proxy runner). If you are unable to run for whatever unavoidable reason after you have been selected as a torchbearer, please inform the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee immediately.

Q

If I am seleted, when will I be informed of the date of my run?

A

The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will inform all torchbearers of their date and route of the torch relay run after the middle of February 2020.

Q

Is there any chance that the torch relay will be cancelled? If so, how will the torchbearers be contacted?

A

The torch relay may be cancelled on the day of the run due to a natural disaster, bad weather, incidents and accidents or for other unavoidable reasons. In principle, the torchbearers will be contacted via email to the address provided by the torchbearer.

Q

Can I publicly announce that I will run as a torchbearer?

A

Yes, you may. However, you are prohibited from using your role as a torchbearer for religious or political purposes, or for personal promotion or publicity.

Q

Will I be interviewed by media before the run?

A

Based on the consent you have given on the application form, there is a possibility that you are asked to give an interview before your run.

Q

Can I pay to become a torchbearer?

A

Torchearers will be selected by the recruiting organisations (PTFs and the Presenting Partners). Nobody will be able to become a torchbearer by contributing money. Also, torchbearers are forbidden to sell their right to run in the torch relay.

Q

How will torchbearers other than the openly recruited runners be selected?

A

The PTFs, the Presenting Partners, the Official Marketing Partners, the IOC, and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will recruit the torchbearer candidates and submit the list of candidates to the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will then determine the final selection of the torchbearers.

Q

Will there be a recruitment for escorts?

A

There will be no recruitment program for escorts. Those who require support in order to run the torch relay will be allowed to be accompanied by one escort.

Q

When will the recruitement of torchbearers for the Paralympic Torch Relay take place?

A

The relay route, the torchbearer selection and other details regarding the Paralympic Torch Relay will be discussed and determined in due course. We plan to announce the details by autumn 2019.

Q

Can I apply for both the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relay torchbearer?

A

You are free to apply for both.

The torch relay run

Q

What is the distance each torchbearer will run?

A

Each torchbearer will run about 200 metres. (Please note that the running distance may be more or may be less than 200 metres. Torchbearers may run at their own speed and at a relaxed pace.)

Q

Can I run with an assistance dog?

A

If required, you will be allowed to run with an assistance dog.

Q

Can I run with an escort?

A

Those who require support to run will be allowed to run with one escort.

Q

Can I choose any escort? Is there a selection criteria?

A

The minimum age requirement for escorts is the same as the torchbeaers: they must be born on or before 1 April 2008. All other basic requirements, including the regulations about politics and religion, will be the same as the basic requirements for torchbearer applicants.

Q

Is the participation in the torch relay free of charge?

A

Participation will be free of charge, but participants must cover their own transportation and accommodation costs to reach the meeting point for the torach relay.

Q

Will I have to pay my own way to reach the meeting place for the torch relay run? What if I am selected to run at a remote place like an island?

A

Participation will be free of charge, but you must pay for your own round-trip transportation (and accommodation if necessary). There will be no refund in the event that the torch relay is cancelled for unavoidable reasons. The same rule applies for the leg of the relay route that will take place on one of the remot islands.

Q

is there a dress code or any rules about the shoes I wear during the torch relay?

A

A uniform (long- or short-sleeve shirt, long or short pants) will be distributed to the torchbeaers on the day of their run. Torchbearers will not be allowed to wear shirts or pants ther than the uniform. Shoes are not included in the uniform, so please bring your own running shoes. A more detailed guideline will be available after the final selection of the torchbearers.

Q

Can I wear a costume during my run?

A

Torchbearers will not be allowed to wear shirts, pants or any other item of clothing other than the uniform. They may also be asked to remove accessories or jewellery as well.

Q

Will there be an orientation session on the day of the torch relay?

A

There are no plans to organise any orientation. All necessary iinformation will be sent to the designated email address of each torchbearer. After signing in at the reception desk on the day of the run, torchbeaers will be given instructions and cautions before their run.

Q

How will you check the identity of the torchbearers on the day of the torch relay?

A

On the day of their run, torchbearers will be asked to present their personal identification, such as a driver's license or a passport. Failure to present a valid identification may result in the cancellation of your run.

Q

Can my family accompany me from the meeting point to the dismissal point?

A

Torchbearers will be required to report to the meeting point (where they will collect their uniform) and will be dismissed at a designated location after they complete their leg of the torch relay. After they report to the meeting point, torchbearers will, in principle, be required to stay with the other torchbearers. There will be no particular waiting area for their families.

Q

Are there any plans for a live broadcast or live coverage/distribution of the torch relay?

A

Discussions are on-going to uplaod a live streaming of the torch relay on the Internet.

Q

Can I take a selfie while I run?

A

Torchbearers will be allowed to bring their mobile phones with them during their run, but in order to ensure the safety of all those involved, we will prohibit the torchbearers taking selfies during their run. They are free to take photos in areas that will not interfere with the torch relay operation.

Q

What about the portrait rights of the torchbearers?

A

As stated in the application requirements, applicants are required to give consent upon submitting their application to become a torchbearer.

The torch relay route

Q

How were the municipalities in which the torch relay will pass through selected?

A

Based on the "Basic Approach to the Route Selection" presented by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the PTFs established the routes in each prefecture, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee compiled the information, and the IOC approved the routes.

Q

What is the special characteristics of the torch relay?

A

Based on the "Basic Approach to the Route Selection" presented by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, a route that will allow many people across the nation of Japan to see the torch relay, and a route that will introduce the charm and attractions of Japan was selected.

Q

Will the images of the torch relay being transported in a vehicle or ferry be released?

A

There basically are no plans to release such images.

Q

Has detailed information been released about the route within each municipality?

A

The detailed route in each municipality is currently under negotiation and discussion, and therefore has not been released. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee plans to announce the details around the end of 2019.

Q

What is a 'celebration'?

A

A 'celebration' refers to a special event celebrating the arrival of the flame carried by the final torchbearer of the day. A 'celebration will take place at the end of each day of the torch relay.

Q

What takes place at the celebration event?

A

There will be various stage performances, the Presenting Partners will set up commercial display booths, and the last torchbearer of the day will arrive at the 'celebration' site and transfer the Olympic flame to a celebration cauldron.

Q

What was the basis for the selection of the celebration sites?

A

The 'celebration' sites were chosen in each of the municipalities hosting the last leg of the torch relay of the day. The site met a number of requirements, including a capacity of about 1,000 - 3,000, and enabling access of large-size vehicles.

Torchbearer's uniform

Q

Will the uniform be sold to the general public?

A

Uniforms will not be sold.

The torch

Q

Will the torch be sold to the general public?

A

The torch will not be sold. Torchbearers will be able purchase a torch.