Tokyo 2020: Opening ceremony originally featured Lady Gaga entering a Super Mario-style warp pipe, says report

Leaked documents reportedly show Nintendo were involved until just weeks before it went ahead

Louis Chilton
Thursday 29 July 2021 13:30
Tokyo 2020: Sonic the Hedgehog theme used at Opening Ceremony

Early plans for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games would have seen popstar Lady Gaga enter a giant Super Mario-style “warp pipe”.

The “Poker Face” singer would have reportedly jumped into the well-known video game fixture, after which Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe would emerge.

A recent report by Japanese media outlet Shukan Bunshun claims that leaked documents reveal Nintendo was originally collaborating on musical and aesthetic aspects of the opening ceremony, but pulled out shortly before the event begun.

Per the report, organisers originally planned to feature music from Nintendo video games in the opening ceremony, including the main themes from Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon.

Ultimately, while a suite of video game music was performed during the ceremony – featuring themes from Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts and Sonic the Hedgehog – the nation’s best-known video game publisher was conspicuously absent.

At the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Japan’s then-prime minister Shinzo Abe was seen emerging from a warp pipe wearing a Mario hat .

The Independent has contacted Nintendo for comment.

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