Anti-Olympics protester crashes International Olympic Committee news conference

An anti-Olympics protester posed as a reporter and interrupted a news conference hosted by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday.

The man, who portrayed himself as "David O'Brien from Yahoo," obtained access to the virtual news conference with IOC spokesperson Mark Adams following an executive board meeting.

When given the floor to ask a question, the man appeared on camera holding a black banner or scarf that read "No Olympics in Tokyo 2020."

"No Olympics anywhere. No Olympics anywhere," he said. "(Expletive) the Olympics. We don't want the Olympics anywhere. No Olympics in L.A., no Olympics in Tokyo."

A protestor manages to get the last question in today’s IOC video press conference. He says “No Olympics anywhere, **** the Olympics” a few times before being cut off.

The man's video feed was promptly cut by the IOC's media team. Adams noted that IOC president Thomas Bach, who regularly fields questions from reporters in virtual news conferences, was not on the call.

"That probably would have made that stunt a little more interesting," Adams said. "I’m used to it."

The disruption served as the final question of the news conference. 

The IOC streamed the news conference on its YouTube page but took down the video minutes after it ended.

Wednesday's stunt comes amid growing consternation in Japan regarding this summer's Tokyo Olympics, which are scheduled to begin July 23.

Multiple Japanese news outlets have published polls in which the majority of respondents have indicated they would prefer that the Games be canceled or postponed due to COVID-19. And an online petition in Japan calling for the Olympics to be canceled has garnered tens of thousands of signatures.

People protest around Tokyo's National Stadium on Sunday, May 9. (Photo: Eugene Hoshiko, AP)

Less than 3% 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.

Earlier in Wednesday's news conference, Adams said the IOC and local organizers in Japan remained "fully concentrated on delivering the Games."

Contributing: USA TODAY Sports' Nancy Armour; Associated Press

Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.

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