Rio 2016: Japanese Prime Minister arrives at Olympic closing ceremony dressed as Super Mario

Fast-paced trailer for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Games dazzles audience 

Harry Cockburn
Monday 22 August 2016 10:19
Comments
Rio 2016 closing ceremony highlights

As the Rio 2016 Olympic ceremony drew to a close, the handover to Japan for the 2020 Games took a surreal turn when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unexpectedly popped out of a green tube in the centre of Rio’s Maracana stadium dressed as Super Mario.

The statesman’s spectacular cosplay entrance came at the end of the closing ceremony and was the culmination of a teaser trailer in which Japan showcased their plans for the next Games.

As the Olympic anthem boomed around the stadium, the governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, accepted the Olympic flag from the mayor of Rio, and Japan’s two-minute preview began.

High-octane shots of athletes training against the Tokyo skyline were spliced together with famous animated characters, before a frantic Mr Abe was seen in a taxi worrying he wouldn't make it to Rio in time. Without warning, he then morphed into Super Mario and darted through the streets of Tokyo before disappearing down a pipe, apparently a subterranean passage linking the Japanese capital with Rio.

The PM, in full Mario regalia, then materialised in person at the Maracana to greet the crowd, holding aloft a glowing red ball as the stadium lights dimmed – the image of Japan’s rising sun.

Super Mario – an Italian plumber famous for wearing a flat cap and overalls – is one of the world’s best known computer game characters and was created by Japanese electronics company Nintendo.

Mr Abe, leader of the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, is not known for dazzling public displays, and his unexpected performance is comparable to the surprise of Queen Elizabeth II’s appearance at the London 2012 Games, when the monarch took part in the opening ceremony celebrations as a parachuting Bond girl.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in