Herald on Sunday columnist and TVNZ journalist Jack Tame has been caught up in the cross fire during heated protests on the morning of the Olympics opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.

One News reported that Tame was caught up amid thousands of protesters on Copacabana Beach who were pepper sprayed as they swarmed the famous beach.

Tame reportedly suffered a brief bout of coughing but was not sore as a result of the incident.

He said the crowd was repeatedly chanting "coup leader" in reference to their vice president Michel Temer.