Speed Reads

Tokyo Olympics

Protesters gather outside the Olympics, chant 'Go to hell, IOC'

The Tokyo Olympics have officially commenced, much to the chagrin of protesters who gathered to tell the International Olympic Committee to "go to hell." 

As the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics got underway on Friday, "hundreds" of people gathered outside the Olympic Stadium, and their "voices and noisemakers can be heard echoing throughout the stadium during every pause in programming," The New York Times reported. Inside the stadium itself, all spectators were banned from attending, making for an unusually quiet scene. 

A video shared by The Washington Post's Michelle Ye Hee Lee ahead of the opening ceremony showed protesters chanting, "Go to hell, IOC," referring to the International Olympic Committee. One demonstrator, NPR reports, held up a sign that read, "No Olympics 2020! Use that money for COVID-19!" 

The Olympics were originally scheduled for July 2020 but were delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the decision to still go forward with them amid the pandemic has been controversial. In May, a poll showed a majority of people in Japan wanted the games to be canceled, with just 14 percent saying they should go forward as scheduled.