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Anti-Olympics Protester Crashes IOC News Conference Posing as Reporter

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 12, 2021

AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File

A protester pretending to be "David O'Brien from Yahoo" interjected during an International Olympic Committee virtual news conference on Wednesday with an anti-Olympics message, according to Tom Schad of USA Today.

"No Olympics anywhere. No Olympics anywhere," he said when called on to ask a question. "[Expletive] the Olympics. We don't want the Olympics anywhere. No Olympics in L.A., no Olympics in Tokyo."

IOC spokesperson Mark Adams, who was leading the press conference, responded to the stunt.

"I'm sorry to disappoint you that it was me, not [IOC president Thomas Bach], today," Adams said. "Obviously would have probably made that stunt a little bit more interesting. I'm used to it, so that's fine."

A group called NOlympics LA took credit for the stunt, per Schad. 

The Tokyo Olympics remain on track to commence on July 23, despite major concerns in Japan about holding such a big event amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to Schad, "Less than three percent of Japan's population has been vaccinated, and Tokyo has been placed under a state of emergency due to COVID-19 through the end of May. The state of emergency prompted Bach to delay his planned trip to Tokyo, which had been scheduled for later this month."

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According to the Associated Press, a petition in Japan calling on the country and IOC to cancel the Games has over 300,000 signatures. 

โ€œNo vaccine. No medication. Are we supposed to fight with bamboo spears? Weโ€™ll be killed by politics if things remain unchanged,โ€ read an advertisement critical of the Games, run by Tokyo-based publisher Takarajimasha.

โ€œWe have been deceived," it added. "What was the past year for?"

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