Japan’s Prime Minister Shows up Via Warp Pipe, Dressed as Mario, to Take on Olympic Mantle at Rio Closing Ceremony

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The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio went out with a bang at the closing ceremony last night, which included passing the torch (not the literal one, in this case) to the next city. In 2020, the Olympics are going to Tokyo, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe showed up in style to accept that responsibility after a short video (also featuring Hello Kitty and Pac-Man) teasing their hosting of the games.

Mario may well be the world’s most recognizable mascot—and he even made an appearance at the Olympics with Nintendo’s other icons—so it’s only fitting that he’d play a big part in a video all about how great Japan is. Yes, as you can see in the clip above, Abe showed up atop a giant replica of a warp pipe, wearing Mario’s signature outfit—which he quickly dropped for more standard attire, but not without waving the cap around to get the crowd going.

It’s like every YouTube video of a marching band doing video game formations has come to life on one of the biggest, most revered stages available, which is incredibly gratifying for a generation of gamers. If this is anything to go by, the ceremonies at the games in 2020 should be a whole lot of fun.

(via Eurogamer, featured image via screenshot)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.