VIRAL: Japanese PM Abe pops out as Super Mario at Rio Olympics closing
MANILA, Philippines – The 2016 Rio Olympics came to a close Sunday, August 21 (Monday, August 22 in Manila).
As is customary for any Olympic closing program, there was the parade of athletes, speeches from Olympic officials, and the ceremonial turnover from the current host city to the next.
Japan's capital city Tokyo is set to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. But where was the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe?
Well, he was to join the ceremony in the geekiest way possible.
After a video montage showing Japan "Warming Up" for 2020, Abe transforms into the popular Nintendo game character Super Mario at the back of his town car.
Abe/Mario then runs towards the world-famous Shibuya Crossing – where another anime character, Doraemon, awaits, with that famous green Warp Pipe.
Super Mario then jumps into the pipe, which then "burrows" its way from Tokyo to Rio.
The opposite end of the Warp Pipe showed up in the middle of the Maracana Stadium, and guess who popped out.
The Japanese Prime Minister, wearing that famous red hat, holding a red ball.
The crowd – and the Internet – exploded.
THE JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE JUST SHOWED UP AT THE OLYMPICS DRESSED AS MARIO, POPPING UP THROUGH A PIPE. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.— Mark:Di-Stefano (@MarkDiStef) August 22, 2016
So Prime Minister Shinzo just popped out of a green pipe dressed as Mario. We're calling it - best Olympics handover EVER— Mashable (@mashable) August 22, 2016
The Prime Minister of Japan just appeared on stage in Rio while cosplaying as Mario. 2020 is going to be a good Olympics.— Nick Breckon (@nickbreckon) August 22, 2016
Ima let you finish but Shinzo Abe had the best entrance of all time pic.twitter.com/uQsQt5SmLI— Olympic Bun (@Rxbun) August 22, 2016
I never knew that "Shinzo Abe appearing from a Mario pipe" was the answer to every question I've every asked BUT IT IS EVERYTHING.— Kristen S Anderson (@KSoltisAnderson) August 22, 2016
The moment became one of the top Worldwide Trends on Twitter, alongside the hashtags for the official Olympic closing ceremonies.
Also present at the closing ceremony was Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, who received the Olympic flag from International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes.
They entered the stadium in a more conventional way – by walking.
The appearance of a Super Mario-ized Abe and a slew of other Japanese icons in the Tokyo 2020 sizzle reel showed the wide-ranging influence of Japanese culture in the global pop scene.
If it's any indication, Tokyo 2020 could have one of the geekiest opening ceremonies we'll witness. – Rappler.com